Rachid Tazi-Ahnini

University of Sheffield, United Kingdom


I studied for my BachelorĀ“s and MasterĀ“s degrees in molecular and cellular biology at the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse-France. In 1994 I began PhD studies in human genetics at the laboratories of "Centre National de Recherche Scientifique", Toulouse. As part of my PhD, I worked on positional cloning of multigenic family butyrophilin, located in the distal part of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). I moved to Britain for a postdoctoral appointment in 1997at the University of Sheffield. Because of my background in MHC structure, evolution and genetics, I subsequently focussed most of my work on the genetics of the MHC in psoriasis and alopecia areata. In January 2000, I was appointed by the University of Sheffield to the post of Lecturer in Molecular Dermatology to develop genetic studies of inflammatory skin diseases including alopecia areata, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and vitiligo. Then I become research group leader working on genetics of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata and vitiligo. We use candidate genes approach by comparing the distribution of each SNP is then compared between cases and controls. We also use a genome-wide association study to identify genetic susceptibility loci of these diseases. More recently, I become interested in determining the function of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene and its role in the pathogenesis of some autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata (AA), vitiligo and thyroid diseases. In our department, we are using Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome type I (APS-1) as a model to study the pathogenesis of these disorders. APS-1 is a rare disorder characterised by an unusual pathogenesis within the range of autoimmune disorders, most of which are more typically polygenic traits such as hypoparathyroidism, diabetes, AA and vitiligo. APS-1 is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations of the AIRE gene located at chromosome 21q22.3

Biography Updated on 10 March 2013

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