• Farrer, Matthew

    Affiliate Investigator, BC Children's Hospital

    Director, Centre for Applied Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience
    Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC)
    Dr. Donald Rix B.C. Leadership Chair in Genetic Medicine
    Canada Excellence Research Chair
    Senior Scientist, Djavad Mowafhagian Centre for Brain Health, UBC

    Degrees / Designations
    B.Sc. Biochemistry, PhD Human Genetics
    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Tara Candido
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address

    Centre for Applied Neurogenetics
    Djavad Mowafhagian Centre for Brain Health
    2215 Wesbrook Mall
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

    Research Areas
    • Central and peripheral neurodegenerative disorders
    • Gene and mutation mapping, focused on families and isolated populations
    • Molecular and mechanistic neuroscience
    • Neuronal models of protein function and dysfunction
    • Drug screening for therapeutic intervention

    Dr. Farrer’s background is in biochemistry and human genetics. His interest in neuroscience began in children and families with Down syndrome, correlating genetic variability and clinical outcomes. His doctoral degree was in complex trait mapping with a focus on early intellectual disability and progressive age-asssociated cognitive dysfunction. In his early career as a geneticist he was involved in the creation of the first chromosome 21 physical and genetic maps. 

    Dr. Farrer's team are currently working on family-based exome and whole-genome re-sequencing, linkage and population association analyses to identify the molecular basis of  neurologic and neurodegenerative disease. 

    Dr. Farrer also has active research interests in childhood seizure disorders, in Parkinson’s disease, cognition and dementias. Molecular neuroscience discoveries are used to create neuronal models of protein loss, function and dysfunction to develop a mechanistic understanding of the biological networks perturbed in neurologic and neurodegenerative disease. Models created are employed to identify druggable targets and to develop novel interventions/therapeutics strategies for patients and their families. The objective is to halt disease progression, for neuroprotection and not merely symptomatic benefit by targeting and treating the underlying molecular causes.

    Current Projects
    Selected Publications
    Honours & Awards
    Research Group Members