School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
   
   
  
 

Image of Sarah Blott

Sarah Blott

Associate Professor in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Contact

  • workRoom A54 Veterinary Academic Building
    Sutton Bonington Campus
    Sutton Bonington
    Leicestershire
    LE12 5RD
    UK
  • work0115 951 6247
  • fax0115 951 6415

Biography

Sarah Blott has a BSc in Genetics from University College London, and an MSc and PhD in Quantitative Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. After post-doctoral positions at the University of Liège, Belgium and the University of Cambridge she worked for Sygen International plc (now part of Genus plc, a leading pig and cattle breeding company) as a research scientist. From 2006-2014, she was Head of Quantitative Genetics at the Animal Health Trust. She joined the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science in 2014.

Research Summary

My research focuses on improving methods of evaluating the genetic risk of disease in animal populations and on developing new breeding strategies to reduce disease prevalence. Existing projects have… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My research focuses on improving methods of evaluating the genetic risk of disease in animal populations and on developing new breeding strategies to reduce disease prevalence. Existing projects have enabled genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to be carried out to identify genetic variants associated with musculoskeletal disorders in the horse and dog, and respiratory disease in the horse. My research group has also been responsible for the development of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs are a measure of genetic risk calculated from pedigree and clinical or health screening data) for hip and elbow score in Kennel Club registered dogs, and we are also working with Guide Dogs UK to produce EBVs for health and behavioural traits. A second strand of research has been looking at the management of inbreeding to reduce risk of inherited disease at the population level. The impact of this research has been disseminated through the development of internet-based tools for breeders and through presentations and educational sessions for breeders, the veterinary community and other stakeholders.

Future Research

Significant genome regions associated with fracture risk in horses, and hip dysplasia in dogs have been identified. Future research will use next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics analysis to prioritise genetic variants, both to improve prediction of genetic risk and to highlight variants for further follow-up in order to better understand the underlying biology. In addition, the importance of genotype-by-environment interactions will be investigated using gene-environment association studies based on high density genotyping data. Cross-disciplinary collaborations will be developed, in order to identify gene networks and regulatory mechanisms impacted by disease mutations. Possible approaches will include high-throughput gene expression analysis combined with genome association studies (eQTL), methylation and ChIP-seq analyses to elucidate epigenetic factors involved in complex disease and the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as an in-vitro model for functional studies.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415
email: veterinary-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk