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Dr. Lara Cassidy
Assistant Professor, Genetics

Biography

Lara Cassidy graduated in Human Genetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2013, receiving a gold medal for her academic achievements. She worked as a research assistant under Prof. Jun Kitano at the National Institute of Genetics in Japan, publishing on speciation in stickleback fish populations. She was subsequently awarded a scholarship by the Irish Research Council to pursue a Ph.D. in ancient genomics at Prof. Dan Bradley's lab at the Trinity, which she was awarded in 2018. Her doctoral focus was the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the study of Irish prehistory, which resolved longstanding questions on the origins of the modern population. She expanded upon this work as a postdoctoral researcher, before soon joining the staff at the Department of Genetics as an assistant professor in 2020. Throughout her career, Lara has published extensively and with wide-reaching impact in ancient genomics. Her research has been repeatedly featured in top journals such as Nature, Science, PNAS and Nature Communications and covered by major international news outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC). In 2019, she was awarded an honorary life fellowship at the Adelphi Genetics Forum.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Iseult Jackson, Peter Woodman, Marion Dowd, Linda Fibiger, Lara M Cassidy, Ancient Genomes From Bronze Age Remains Reveal Deep Diversity and Recent Adaptive Episodes for Human Oral Pathobionts, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 41, (3), 2024 Journal Article, 2024

Niall P Cooke, Valeria Mattiangeli, Lara M Cassidy, Kenji Okazaki, Kenji Kasai, Daniel G Bradley, Takashi Gakuhari, Shigeki Nakagome, Genomic insights into a tripartite ancestry in the Southern Ryukyu Islands, Evolutionary Human Sciences, 5, 2023, pe23- Journal Article, 2023

Jackson I, Mattiangeli V, Cassidy LM, Murphy E, Bradley DG., Millennium-old pathogenic Mendelian mutation discovery for multiple osteochondromas from a Gaelic Medieval graveyard, Eur J Hum Genet, 2023 Journal Article, 2023

Ariano B, Mattiangeli V, Breslin EM, Parkinson EW, McLaughlin TR, Thompson JE, Power RK, Stock JT, Mercieca-Spiteri B, Stoddart S, Malone C, Gopalakrishnan S, Cassidy LM, Bradley DG., Ancient Maltese genomes and the genetic geography of Neolithic Europe, Current Biology, 2022 Journal Article, 2022

Speidel L., Cassidy L., Davies R.W., Hellenthal G., Skoglund P., Myers S.R., Inferring Population Histories for Ancient Genomes Using Genome-Wide Genealogies, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 38, (9), 2021, p3497 - 3511, p3497-3511 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Maisano Delser P., Jones E.R., Hovhannisyan A., Cassidy L., Pinhasi R., Manica A., A curated dataset of modern and ancient high-coverage shotgun human genomes, Scientific Data, 8, (1), 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Cooke, N.P. and Mattiangeli, V. and Cassidy, L.M. and Okazaki, K. and Stokes, C.A. and Onbe, S. and Hatakeyama, S. and Machida, K. and Kasai, K. and Tomioka, N. and Matsumoto, A. and Ito, M. and Kojima, Y. and Bradley, D.G. and Gakuhari, T. and Nakagome, S., Ancient genomics reveals tripartite origins of Japanese populations, Science Advances, 7, (38), 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Dowd M., Lynch L.G., Cassidy L., Bonsall J., Kahlert T., Reimer P., Svyatko S., OCarroll E., Reilly E., Noonan A., Beglane F., NEOLITHIC ENGAGEMENTS WITH THE DEAD: MORTUARY PROCESSING ON BENGORM MOUNTAIN IN THE NORTH-WEST OF IRELAND, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 39, (4), 2020, p368 - 394, p368-394 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Margaryan A, Lawson DJ, Sikora M, Racimo F, Rasmussen S, Moltke I, Cassidy LM, Jørsboe E, Ingason A, Pedersen MW, Korneliussen T, Wilhelmson H, Bu" MM, de Barros Damgaard P, Martiniano R, Renaud G, Bhérer C, Moreno-Mayar JV, Fotakis AK, Allen M, Allmäe R, Molak M, Cappellini E, Scorrano G, McColl H, Buzhilova A, Fox A, Albrechtsen A, Schütz B, Skar B, Arcini C, Falys C, Jonson CH, B"aszczyk D, Pezhemsky D, Turner-Walker G, Gestsdóttir H, Lundstrøm I, Gustin I, Mainland I, Potekhina I, Muntoni IM, Cheng J, Stenderup J, Ma J, Gibson J, Peets J, Gustafsson J, Iversen KH, Simpson L, Strand L, Loe L, Sikora M, Florek M, Vretemark M, Redknap M, Bajka M, Pushkina T, Søvsø M, Grigoreva N, Christensen T, Kastholm O, Uldum O, Favia P, Holck P, Sten S, Arge SV, Ellingvåg S, Moiseyev V, Bogdanowicz W, Magnusson Y, Orlando L, Pentz P, Jessen MD, Pedersen A, Collard M, Bradley DG, Jørkov ML, Arneborg J, Lynnerup N, Price N, Gilbert MTP, Allentoft ME, Bill J, Sindbæk SM, Hedeager L, Kristiansen K, Nielsen R, Werge T, Willerslev E., Population genomics of the Viking world., Nature, 585, (7825), 2020, p390-396 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Hui R, D'Atanasio E, Cassidy LM, Scheib CL, Kivisild T., Evaluating genotype imputation pipeline for ultra-low coverage ancient genomes., Scientific reports, 10, (1), 2020, p18542 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Cassidy LM, Maoldúin RÓ, Kador T, Lynch A, Jones C, Woodman PC, Murphy E, Ramsey G, Dowd M, Noonan A, Campbell C, Jones ER, Mattiangeli V, Bradley DG., A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society., Nature, 582, (7812), 2020, p384-388 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Cassidy LM., A steppe in the right direction., Nature ecology & evolution, 3, (6), 2019, p877-878 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Schroeder, H. and Sikora, M. and Gopalakrishnan, S. and Cassidy, L.M. and Delser, P.M. and Velasco, M.S. and Schraiber, J.G. and Rasmussen, S. and Homburger, J.R. and à vila-Arcos, M.C. and Allentoft, M.E. and Víctor Moreno-Mayar, J. and Renaud, G. and Gómez-Carballa, A. and Laffoon, J.E. and Hopkins, R.J.A. and Higham, T.F.G. and Carr, R.S. and Schaffer, W.C. and Day, J.S. and Hoogland, M. and Salas, A. and Bustamante, C.D. and Nielsen, R. and Bradley, D.G. and Hofman, C.L. and Willerslev, E., Origins and genetic legacies of the Caribbean Taino, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115, (10), 2018, p2341-2346 Journal Article, 2018 TARA - Full Text DOI

Kador T., Cassidy L.M., Geber J., Hensey R., Meehan P., Moore S., Rites of Passage: Mortuary Practice, Population Dynamics, and Chronology at the Carrowkeel Passage Tomb Complex, Co. Sligo, Ireland, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 84, 2018, p225 - 255, p225-255 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Byrne RP, Martiniano R, Cassidy LM, Carrigan M, Hellenthal G, Hardiman O, Bradley DG, McLaughlin RL, Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration, PLOS Genetics, 14, 2018, pe1007152 Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Lara M. Cassidy, Matthew D. Teasdale, Sean Carolan, Ruth Enright, Raymond Werner, Daniel G. Bradley, Emma K. Finlay, Valeria Mattiangeli, Capturing goats: Documenting two hundred years of mitochondrial DNA diversity among goat populations from Britain and Ireland, Biology Letters, Volume 13, (Issue 3), 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

C Greene, J Kealy, M M Humphries, Y Gong, J Hou, N Hudson, L M Cassidy, R Martiniano, V Shashi, S R Hooper, G A Grant, P F Kenna, K Norris, C K Callaghan, M dN Islam, S M O'Mara, Z Najda, S G Campbell, J S Pachter, J Thomas, N M Williams, P Humphries, K C Murphy, M Campbell, Dose-dependent expression of claudin-5 is a modifying factor in schizophrenia, Molecular Psychiatry, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Martiniano R, Cassidy LM, Ó'Maoldúin R, McLaughlin R, Silva NM, Manco L, Fidalgo D, Pereira T, Coelho MJ, Serra M, Burger J, Parreira R, Moran E, Valera AC, Porfirio E, Boaventura R, Silva AM, Bradley DG., The population genomics of archaeological transition in west Iberia: Investigation of ancient substructure using imputation and haplotype-based methods, PLoS Genetics, 13, 2017, pe1006852 Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text DOI

Cassidy L.M, Martiniano R, Murphy E.M, Teasdale M.D, Mallory J, Hartwell B, Bradley D.G, Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular atlantic genome, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, (2), 2016, p368 - 373 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL

Broushaki F, Thomas M.G, Link I, López S, Van Dorp L, Kirsanow K, Hofmanová Z, Diekmann Y, Cassidy L.M, Díez-Del-Molino D, Kousathanas A, Sell C, Robson H.K, Martiniano R, Blöcher J, Scheu A, Kreutzer S, Bollongino R, Bobo D, Davoudi H, Munoz O, Currat M, Abdi K, Biglari F, Craig O.E, Bradley D.G, Shennan S, Veeramah K.R, Mashkour M, Wegmann D, Hellentha G, Burger J, Early Neolithic genomes from the eastern Fertile Crescent, Science, 353, (6298), 2016, p499 - 503 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Hofmanová Z, Kreutzer S, Hellenthal G, Sell C, Diekmann Y, Díez-Del-Molino D, Van Dorp L, López S, Kousathanas A, Link V, Kirsanow K, Cassidy L.M, Martiniano R, Strobel M, Scheu A, Kotsakis K, Halstead P, Triantaphyllou S, Kyparissi-Apostolika N, Urem-Kotsou D, Ziota C, Adaktylou F, Gopalan S, Bobo D.M, Winkelbach L, Blöcher J, UnterlÀnder M, Leuenberger C, à ilingiroǧlu C, Horejs B, Gerritsen F, Shennan S.J, Bradley D.G, Currat M, Veeramah K.R, Wegmann D, Thomas M.G, Papageorgopoulou C, Burger J, Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113, (25), 2016, p6886 - 6891 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

Jones ER, Gonzalez-Fortes G, Connell S, Siska V, Eriksson A, Martiniano R, McLaughlin RL, Gallego Llorente M, Cassidy LM, Gamba C, Meshveliani T, Bar-Yosef O, Müller W, Belfer-Cohen A, Matskevich Z, Jakeli N, Higham TF, Currat M, Lordkipanidze D, Hofreiter M, Manica A, Pinhasi R, Bradley DG, Upper Palaeolithic genomes reveal deep roots of modern Eurasians., Nature communications, 6, 2015, p8912 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text DOI

Cassidy L.M, Ravinet M, Mori S, Kitano J, Are Japanese freshwater populations of threespine stickleback derived from the Pacific Ocean lineage?, Evolutionary Ecology Research, 15, (3), 2013, p295 - 311 Journal Article, 2013 URL

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Islands apart? Genomics perspectives on the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Ireland. in, editor(s)Alasdair Whittle, Joshua Pollard, Susan Greaney , Ancient DNA and the European Neolithic: Relations and Descent, Oxbow Books, 2023 Book Chapter, 2023

A genomic survey of the Ranelagh population in, editor(s)Murphy E and Delany S , The Forgotten Cemetery: Excavations at Ranelagh, Co. Roscommon, 2022, pp194 - 198, [Cassidy LM, Jackson I, Mattiangeli V] Book Chapter, 2022

Cassidy L.M., The first genomic portrait of a Neanderthal family, Nature, 610, (7932), 2022, p454 - 455, p454-455 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Lara M. Cassidy, Sizing it up: a commentary on "An archaeology of Ireland for the Information Age."2, Emania, 25, 2020, p45 - 52 Journal Article, 2020

Research Expertise

Description

Our group is is working to create a dense temporal catalogue of Irish genetic variation across 10,000 years of the island's habitation. Within this there are several major streams of inquiry: 1. Natural Selection and Disease: Leveraging the unique case study that Ireland presents, as an isolated island with long-term demographic continuity, to study the genomic architecture of mutational load, disease and selective forces. 2. Demography: Characterising prehistoric and Medieval demography in Ireland, Britain and further afield using haplotype-based approaches to provide fine-scale resolution. This includes defining the geographic and cultural forces that have encouraged the build up and break down of genetic structure across Ireland and Europe through time. 3. Social Organisation: Ancient genomes also provide evidence of kinship and descent systems in the absence of written records. They can inform on social stratification, inequality and elite mobility, allowing us to reconstruct the social structure of past societies. 4. Microbiome and Pathogen Evolution: Alongside human genomes we are also carrying out a large survey ancient microbiomes, documenting shifts associated with dietary transitions and host-pathogen co-evolution.

Keywords

Archaeology; Genetic Selection; Genetics; Genomes, Genomics; Molecular Biology

Recognition

Awards and Honours

Honorary Life Fellowship at the Galton Institute October 2019

Best Postdoctoral Talk, ISHG Conference Sept 2018

Gold medalist in Human Genetics (BA) May 2013

Leslie Bloomer Prize in Human Genetics (BA) May 2012

Overall winner in the Life Sciences Category at the Undergraduate Awards 2013

Memberships

Treasurer and Vice-Chairperson of Irish Society of Human Genetics September 2022