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Jane Farrar, Professor of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin

Jane is a Professor in the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin and has three decades of experience in the field of inherited ocular disorders.  Jane’s research interests have been focused on how genetic information is driving the individualisation of medicine and enabling the emergence of innovative potent therapeutic solutions for unmet clinical needs.

Jane and the Trinity team have been involved in the elucidation of the genetic etiology and molecular pathogenesis of genetic eye disorders and exploration of innovative gene and cell-based therapeutics for these conditions. Jane and her colleagues identified some of the first disease genes implicated in genetic eye disorders globally and more recently have elucidated the genetic architecture of inherited eye disorders in the Irish population using next generation sequencing (NGS) methodologies – technologies that are driving the era of genomic medicine.  They were first to report the presence of perturbed microRNA profiles in inherited eye diseases opening a new field and highlighting novel therapeutic targets and have developed innovative technologies for treatment of dominant forms of these genetic eye conditions exploiting fundamental features of the human genome in novel and innovative ways resulting in the generation of a campus company.

More recently the team has highlighted the role of perturbed energy levels or mitochondrial dysfunction in some forms of these disorders highlighting new potential therapeutic avenues and has used NGS technologies to identify new disease pathologies associated with known retinal disease genes, among other highlights.

Jane has authored over 100 international scientific papers and is an inventor on a broad portfolio of patents. She has been Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning for the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin, is on the Board of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), is a member of scientific advisory boards for charities such as Foundation Fighting Blindness, USA and the British Retinitis Pigmentosa, UK and was a Co-Founder, Director and CSO of Genable Technologies, a TCD campus company acquired by Spark Therapeutics.  She works closely with patient organisations to promote research and therapeutic development and is keen to highlight the need for significant investment in Ireland to enable us, as a society, to address the opportunities and challenges of genomic medicine.