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.