My research interests are in combining evolutionary theory and genomics to investigate genetic mechanisms underlying disease. I earned my B.Sc. in Genetics and Cell Biology at Dublin City University, Ireland. Following a year as a research technician at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), USA, I was awarded an IRCSET scholarship to pursue my PhD in molecular evolution and phylogenomics. Here I employed heterogeneous models to identify the earliest diverging placental mammal as the ancestor to Afrotherians (e.g. Elephants and Manatees) and Xenartha (e.g. Armadillos and Sloths).
I have since worked as a computational biologist at Imperial College, London. Using Next Generation Sequencing techniques, I investigated the interplay between the methylome and transcriptome in mouse models of heart disease, development and regeneration.
At present I am dissecting the regulatory landscape of pancreatic islets and am pursuing population and statistical genetics to further understand the role of pathogenic enhancer variants in Mendelian forms of diabetes.
Moran R, Morgan C, O'Connell M, 2015, A Guide to Phylogenetic Reconstruction Using Heterogeneous Models—A Case Study from the Root of the Placental Mammal Tree, Computation, Vol:3, ISSN:2079-3197, Pages:177-196
et al., 2015, Adaptive Evolution as a Predictor of Species-Specific Innate Immune Response., Mol Biol Evol, Vol:32, Pages:1717-1729
et al., 2014, Population Genomics Reveal Recent Speciation and Rapid Evolutionary Adaptation in Polar Bears, Cell, Vol:157, ISSN:0092-8674, Pages:785-794
Morgan CC, Creevey CJ, O'Connell MJ, 2014, Mitochondrial data are not suitable for resolving placental mammal phylogeny, Mammalian Genome, Vol:25, ISSN:0938-8990, Pages:636-647
et al., 2013, Heterogeneous models place the root of the placental mammal phylogeny., Mol Biol Evol, Vol:30, Pages:2145-2156