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Andrea Short


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Personal profile


Andrea is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the SEQaBOO project (SEQuencing a Baby for an Optimal Outcome) in the Division of Human communication, Development and Hearing. She is a Fellow of the HEA and is a PRINCE 2 practitioner.


Andrea obtained a BSc in Cell Biology from the University of Manchester, an MPhil from UMIST for research into glycosylation deficiency in yeast and a PhD for research into the genetics of canine diabetes mellitus from the University of Manchester.

She established her career in canine and comparative genetics and was integral member of two EU framework 7 projects, Euradrenal (Euradrenal), investigating Addison’s disease, and LUPA, investigating a selection of canine diseases which are of great genetic relevance to homologous human conditions. She has been involved in a variety of canine genetic studies including investigations into anal furunculosis, hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease), epilepsy, cruciate ligament rupture, greyhound bone fracture, diabetes, and hypothyroid disease and has worked with the University of Liverpool veterinary team (Leahurst Campus) on projects investigating bovine, equine and ovine disease susceptibility and welfare.

Andrea was the secretary for the UK DNA archive for Companion Animals (2004-2016), the health co-ordinator for the Northern Portuguese Podengo Association (2012-15) and is on the editorial board of Canine Genetics and Epidemiology journal. She was a genetics advisor for the British Small Animal Veterinary Association between 2007 and 2011.

Andrea has a strong interest in translational genetics and developed a respiratory research program with a focus on the genetic understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) in collaboration with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. She is currently working in Hearing Health to investigate parents’ knowledge, understanding and attitudes to genomic screening for newborns that have failed their hearing screen.

Research interests

My interest is understanding the genetic contribution to disease and how lifestyles and the environment influence genetic susceptibility and expression. I'm interested in the genetic variation and stratification of human ethnic groups and in the genetic variation and disease susceptibility of animal breeds.

SEQaBOO (SEQuencing a Baby for an Optimal Outcome)

Around 1 in 1000 newborns in the UK is identified as having a hearing loss with the same number of children developing hearing impairment by the time they reach school age; this makes hearing loss the most common sensory deficit in humans. Hearing loss impacts significantly on a child’s development and progression through the educational system, in addition to affecting social interactions and overall quality of life. SEQaBOO will investigate parents’ knowledge, understanding and attitudes to genomic screening in newborns and will investigate genomic screening as a diagnostic tool for the early identification of hearing loss genes.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a common condition that is strongly linked to smoking. It will be the 3rd leading cause of mortality by 2020(1), is progressive and irreversible and is characterised by airflow limitation due to airway inflammation, remodeling and/or destruction. It affects approximately 20% smokers and has familial clustering, strongly suggesting a genetic component, but to date, there is only one proven genetic contributor to COPD - alpha-1-antitrypsin. Genetic investigations using COPD cohorts will identify new genetic contributors to this important condition.

  1. Murray and Lopez. Lancet 1997;349:1498-1504

Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILDs)

The ILDs are a heterogenous group of conditions that affect the lung tissue and surrounding alveoli spaces. They are diverse, progressive and fatal and in most cases, the aetiology and pathogenesis are unknown.They have an underlying genetic basis and there is substantial evidence that ILDs are heritable complex diseases. Genetic interrogation will help to characterise this group of conditions and will help with the development of new, targeted and more effective treatments.

Canine genetics

The unique breeding history and breed structure of the domestic dog provides a unique opportunity for exploring the genetic basis of disease susceptibility. Dogs have been selectively bred for desirable traits like, size, shape, hunting/herding instinct and coat colour. The selective breeding for desirable traits has resulted in the inadvertent selection of disease susceptibility genes within breeds, as demonstrated by the high prevalence of certain conditions within particular breeds. The extended linkage disequilibrium and restricted gene pool within an individual breed provides an excellent opportunity for interrogating the genetic contribution to disease.

Comparative genetics

Dogs and humans share approximately 400 illnesses/conditions that are known to, or suspected of, having a genetic contributor. The genetic similarity between the two species (94% genetically identical) means that the genetic contributors to these diseases are likely to be the same in both species. Furthermore, dogs and humans share the environment and provide a unique opportunity for looking at environmental contributors to disease in addition to any shared genetic factors.

Salford Respiratory Biobank (SRB)

The SRB was established in 2014 and provides a biological resource to assist respiratory researchers to investigate respiratory diseases. The resource includes clinical phenotyping, lifestyle information and environmental exposure data.

UK DNA Archive for Companion Animals

The UK DNA Archive for companion Animals was formed in 2003 and provides a biological resource to help veterinary research scientists study the genetic basis of diseases in dogs, cats and horses.

Other research interests:

  • Population health & genetics
  • Nutrition and exercise in health and disease
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Genetic models for disease
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Epigenetics
  • Canine breed health & genetics
  • Canine epilepsy
  • Canine autoimmune disease


Andrea was a lecturer on the undergraduate medical programme (2016-2018), has successfully supervised PhD students and is a tutor on the Manchester Access Program.

My collaborations

Harvard Medical School and Brigham Women’s Hospital

Professor Cynthia Morton

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Professor Iain Bruce

St Mary’s Hospital

Professor William Newman

University of Liverpool 

Fabio Miyajima

Stuart Carter

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Nawar Bakerly

Ronan O’Driscoll

University of Manchester

Sophia Ananiadou (National Center for text mining)

Adrian Heald

Lorna Kennedy

Philip Day

Janine Lamb

University of Helsinki

Hannes Lohi

University of Edinburgh

Dylan Clements

University of Bristol

Michael Day

Royal Veterinary College

Brian Catchpole

Canine Immune Mediated Disease Awareness (CIMDA)

Jo Tucker

Northern Branch of the Bearded Collie Breed Club

Angela Pedder

Northern Portuguese Podengo Association (proposed)

Angela Pedder

Animal Health Trust

Cathryn Mellersh

Sally Ricketts

Chris Jenkins

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  1. British Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics
  2. British Society for Immunology
  3. The Genetics Society
  4. International Society for Animal Genetics

Methodological knowledge

  • Translational research and translational pipelines
  • Project management
  • Molecular genetics
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Case-control association studies
  • Genome-wide association studies
  • Candidate gene studies
  • Canine genetics
  • Statistical genetics
  • Complex genetic diseases
  • Biobanking


BSc (Hons) Cell Biology

M Phil Glycosylation deficient mutants of yeast for studies on anti-fungal targets

PhD The genetics of canine diabetes

BTEC Equine Studies and Stable Management

PRINCE2 practitioner

Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy)

Post Graduate Certificate of Higher Education

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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