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Genetics Society Medal 2014

The Genetics Society Medal is an award that recognises outstanding research contributions to genetics; we are delighted to announce that the 2014 Medal has been awarded to Professor Jonathan Flint (The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford). Jonathan Flint is a psychiatrist with an interest in the genetic basis of common psychiatric disorders, in particular the determination of the genetic basis of anxiety and depression in animal models and in humans. He was the first to show that the genetic basis of an animal model of human anxiety is amenable to mapping and that the genetic basis is relatively simple.

Jonathan pioneered the use of outbred mice for genetic mapping and the analysis of complex traits, and has gone on to develop the methodology that makes the identification of susceptibility genes possible using this approach. This method has the potential to become a general tool for finding genes of biomedical importance in mouse models of disease. More recently, he has begun exploring 
the genetic basis of personality traits in humans that predispose to depression and anxiety. He has shown that it is possible to identify susceptibility loci by selecting genetically informative families from extremely large samples, indicating that some of the same loci are likely to act in both rodents and humans in regulating levels of fearfulness. 

Professor Flint also established and co-curates the largest set of data on quantitative trait loci in the mouse, freely available online. He is currently a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, and is the Michael Davys Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.