Dr. Jon Krohn

Jon Krohn

Contact details

Email: jkrohn@well.ox.ac.uk

Tel: 01865 287680

Research summary:

Broadly, I'm interested in the many factors that interact together to explain our characteristic traits. These factors could be genetic factors that one is born with ("nature") or they may be environmental factors related to an individual's unique life experience ("nurture"). The characteristic traits ("phenotypes") that I investigate range from relatively simple biochemical traits (e.g., cholesterol levels) to highly complex traits like behaviour (e.g., reactions to new experiences) and disease (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis).

To carry out my research, I develop and apply a variety of statistical techniques (both frequentist and Bayesian) to large data sets (such as those derived from heterogeneous stock mice) in attempts to find reliable relationships between phenotypes (e.g., disease-related traits) and their many potential predicting factors (e.g., genetic markers, gene expression data, brain imaging results, and environmental variables). Once these relationships are established, I employ algorithms intended to identify the causal pathways by which these factors are related. For example, a particular genetic sequence may affect the extent to which a gene is expressed in the central nervous system, which in turn may influence an individual's experience-specific susceptibility to anxiety and depression. Once potential causal pathways are determined in this way, other researchers can subsequently perform experiments (e.g., gene knockout, conditional transgenic) to verify the validity of the candidate causal mechanism.

Ultimately, understanding the biological pathways underlying disease could lead to the identification of therapeutic drug targets, while recognition of the aspects of an individual's environment that contribute to the disease can inform preventative measures. In the case of anxiety and depression, this translates to improved quality of life for those who are afflicted.

An outline of my ongoing interests and activities is available on my personal website, jonkrohn.com.

Publications list:

2015:

2014:

2013:

2011:

2010:

2008:

In preparation in 2014:

Presentations:

2011:

Seminar Chair:

2010:

Research areas:

Statistics, neuroscience, genetics

Keywords:

Statistics, Bayesian, frequentist, R, Matlab, Perl, Unix, SQL, LaTeX, neuroscience, genetics, anxiety, depression, fear-related behaviour, gene expression, DNA, RNA, causal pathway.