Our research programme is aimed at investigating the genetic component of common neurodevelopmental disorders such as dyslexia. Dyslexia is a specific impairment in learning to read and affects as many as 5% school age children. Our work involves the screening of large cohorts, carefully characterised with quantitative phenotypes and is often conducted within international multidisciplinary collaborations, such as the NeuroDys Consortium. In addition we use large population-based cohorts (see ALSPAC) to pinpoint the cognitive traits affected by genetic associations. This approach allows us to study the genetic of cognitive traits, such as reading and language abilities, regardless of a clinical diagnosis. Ultimately, we are interested in the biological pathways affected by susceptibility genetic variants and in particular their impact on gene expression. We are developing a program aimed at studying the mechanisms linking genetic variation to transcription regulation. The goal of our research is both to identify the genetic determinants of common disorders and to understand the mechanisms underlying human cognition.

Listen to Silvia’s podcast talking about the genetics of dyslexia.

Silvia is an advisor for St Andrews 2012 iGEM team. The team is involved in several public engagement projects. To learn more about these events and synthetic biology see here.

If you are interested in our research or what to find out more get in touch with me:

Silvia Paracchini
[email protected]
@silParacchini for Twitter updates

Useful resources:
Dyslexia Research Trust
The British Dyslexia Association
Dyslexia Action

RALLI: Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairment

Science in the media

Silvia is an active contributor to the Research The Headlines blog, mantained by members of the Young Academy of Scotland. The aim of the blog is to help reader understanding what science is really behind what often make the headlines.