Centre for Functional Genomics (CfG)

Director: Dr Casper Breuker

Contact: cfg@brookes.ac.uk +44 (0)1865 483437

About us

Just like the genome is in the centre of a cell, genomic research is at the core of biological sciences.

The genome determines how species adapt to new habitats, how organisms react to internal and environmental pressures, or how cells change their morphology and behaviour during development and disease. Therefore, researchers of all disciplines in the life sciences are trying to understand the details of how the genome works.

The Centre for Functional Genomics at Oxford Brookes University aims to support scientists from evolutionary biology to biomedicine in their genomic research.

three team members

Related courses

Research impact

Dr Saad Arif teaching

The Centre for Functional Genomics uses state-of-the-art methods to decipher how genes control life and how genetic changes cause differences between organisms. Recent years have brought great progress in sequencing techniques and research methods in the area of genomics. Hence, the 3 research groups associated with the Centre explore different next generation sequencing approaches to understand the genomic and genetic principles that govern biological form and function.

In addition to the focus on their own research themes, members of the Centre also provide services in the areas of sequencing data analysis and project design for external and internal collaborators. They are also involved in student teaching and offer short courses and training opportunities in cutting-edge methods for sequencing data analysis.


Casper Breuker

Dr Casper Breuker

Subject Coordinator for Biology and MBiol Biology

View profile

Dianne Newbury

Dr Dianne Newbury

Senior Lecturer

View profile

Professor Vincent Nijman

Professor in Anthropology

View profile

Saad Arif

Dr Saad Arif

Senior Lecturer

View profile

Jordi Solana

Dr Jordi Solana

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science

View profile



Name Role Email
Dr Korneel Hens Senior Research Fellow khens@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Sebastian Kittelmann Research Fellow skittelmann@brookes.ac.uk



  • Arif, S., Gerth, M., Hone-Millard, W. G., Nunes, M. D. S., Dapporto, L. and Shreeve, T. G. (2020). Multiple colonisations and Wolbachia infections influence the fine-scale population structure of the widespread Common Blue butterfly (Polyomattus icarus) in the British Isles. bioRXiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.03.267203.
  • Hagen, J. F. D., Mendes, C. C., R. Booth, S., Figueras Jimenez, J., Tanaka, K. M., Franke, F. A., Baudouin-Gonzalez, L., Ridgway, A. M., Arif, S., Nunes, M. D. S. and McGregor, A. P. (2020). Unravelling the genetic basis for the rapid diversification of male genitalia between Drosophila species. Molecular Biology and Evolution, msaa232, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msaa232.
  • García-Castro, H., Kenny, N. J., Álvarez-Campos, P., Mason, V., Schönauer, A., Sleight, V. A., Neiro, J., Aboobaker, A., Permanyer, J., Iglesias, M., Irimia, M., Sebé-Pedrós, A. and Solana, J. (2020). ACME dissociation: a versatile cell fixation-dissociation method for single-cell transcriptomics. bioRiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.26.117234.
  • Harper, A., Baudouin-Gonzalez, L., Schönauer, A., Seiter, M., Holzem, M., Arif, S., McGregor, A. P., Sumner-Rooney, L. (2020). Widespread retention of ohnologs in key developmental gene families following whole genome duplication in arachnopulmonates. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.10.177725.
  • Buffry, A. D., Kittelmann, S. and McGregor, A. P. (2020). Characterisation of the role and regulation of Ultrabithorax in sculpting fine-scale leg morphology. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.17.152918.
  • Baudouin-Gonzalez, L*., Schoenauer, A*., Harper, A., Blakeley, G., Seiter, M., Arif, S., Sumner-Rooney, L., Russell, S., Sharma, P. P. and McGregor, A. P. (2020). The evolution of Sox gene repertoires and regulation of segmentation in arachnids bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.04.133389. *Contributed equally.
  • Gaspar, P., Arif, S., Sumner-Rooney, L., Kittelmann, M., Bodey, A. J., Stern, D. L., Nunes, M. D. S. and McGregor, A. P. (2020) Characterization of the genetic architecture underlying eye size variation within Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans. G3,10:1005-1018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.400877.
  • Thomas, G. W. C. et al., (2020). Gene content evolution in the arthropods. Genome Biology 21:15. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-019-1925-7.
  • Herndon, N. et al., (2020). Enhanced genome assembly and a new official gene set for Tribolium castaneum. BMC Genomics 21:47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-019-6394-6.
  • Ang, A., Roesma, D.I., Nijman, V., Meier, R. and Srivathsan, A. (2020). Faecal DNA to the rescue: Shotgun sequencing of non-invasive samples reveals two subspecies of Southeast Asian primates to be Critically Endangered species. Scientific Reports, 9396.
  • Jackson A, Nijman V. 2020. DNA barcoding of primates and the selection of molecular markers using African Great Apes as a model. Journal of Anthropological Sciences (in press).


  • Königer A., Arif, S. amd Grath, S. (2019). Three Quantitative Trait Loci Explain More than 60% of Variation for Chill Coma Recovery Time in a Natural Population of Drosophila ananassae. G3, 9(11):3715-3725. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.119.400453.
  • Fox, G., Preziosi, R.F., Antwis, R.E., Benavides-Serrato, M., Combe, F.J., Harris, W.E., Hartley, I.R., Kitchener, A.C., de Kort, S.R., Nekaris, K.A.I. and Rowntree, J.K. (2019). Multi-individual microsatellite identification: A multiple genome approach to microsatellite design (MiMi). Molecular Ecology Resources 19: 1672-1680.
  • Hagen, J. F. D., Mendes, C. C., Tanaka, K. M., Gaspar, P., Kittelmann, M., McGregor, A. P. and Nunes, M. D. S. (2019). tartan underlies the evolution of male Drosophila genital morphology. PNAS USA 116, 19025-19030.
  • Nijman, V. (2019). Presbytis neglectus or P. femoralis, colobine molecular phylogenies, and GenBank submission of newly generated DNA sequences. Folia Primatologica, 1-12.
  • Nijman, V., Smith, J.H. and Kanda, R.K. (2019). Phylogeography, population genetics, and conservation of Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch). International Journal of Primatology 40, 156-161.