Associate Professor Karen Lower

Associate Professor

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre (6D:211.1)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Karen obtained her BSc (Hons) degree from Flinders University in 1997. She then went on to carry out her PhD research at Adelaide University, based at the Women's and Children's Hospital, in the area of neurogenetics. During this time her research was in the identification of genes involved in intellectual disability, culminating in the identification of genes for 2 disorders (BFLS and ARX). Following her PhD studies, Karen was awarded a Nuffield Medical Research Fellowship, enabling her to take up a post-doctoral research position at Oxford University, UK. During her time in Oxford, Karen's research was predominantly in the field of gene regulation and chromatin remodeling, in addition to lecturing and tutoring medical students in Medical Genetics and Biochemistry at Oxford University. After spending 7 years in the UK, Karen returned to Flinders University in 2010 to continue both teaching and research in human genetics. In addition to developing and coordinating all undergraduate human genetics topics at Flinders, Karen has also played a key role in the implementation of Team Based Learning in the MD degree.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) in Medicine, Flinders University

PhD in Medical Research, Adelaide University

Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Ed), Flinders University

Honours, awards and grants

1997 - Flinders University Medal

2000 - Awarded Adelaide Research Scholarship (National) for Ph.D. studies

2002 - Winner, Young Investigator of the Year, Women's and Children's Hospital

2002 - Awarded Postgraduate Travelling Fellowship, Adelaide University

2002 - American Society of Human Genetics, Predoctoral Presentation Award Finalist, 52nd Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, October 2002

2003 - Awarded Nuffield Medical Research Fellowship for a postdoctoral research position in Oxford, UK

2006 - Awarded Career Development Fellowship, MRC

2009 - Abstract selected for presentation at the Plenary Session of the American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI

2011 - Flinders Medical Students Society Bren Gannon Award for Enthusiasm and Dedication to Teaching in the Medical Degree

2013 - Executive Dean's Teaching Excellence Award for Reinvigorating Human Genetics Teaching

2013 - Flinders Medical Students Society Bren Gannon Award for Demonstrating Excellence and Passion for Teaching

2015 - Flinders Medical Students Society Bren Gannon Award for Demonstrating Excellence and Passion for Teaching

2016 - Flinders Medical Students Society Best Lecturer MD1 Award for Excellence in, and Dedication to, Medical Education

2017 - Flinders University School of Medicine Dean’s Award

2018 - Nomination for 2018 FCIC Supervisor of the Year

2019 - Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

2019 - Finalist, STEM Educator of the Year Tertiary Teaching, SA Science Excellence Awards

Key responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Medicine and Genetics

Acting Course Co-ordinator, Bachelor of Medical Science

Year 2 Course Co-ordinator, Bachelor of Medical Science

Project Lead for Team Based Learning in the MD Degree

Head of Cancer Genetics Laboratory

Research expertise
Genetics
Molecular biology
Research interests
I am interested in understanding how the expression of genes is regulated, in both the normal and disease state.  Such regulation is a complex process, and involves many interacting factors including DNA sequence, transcription factor binding and chromatin structure.  Defects at any level of these processes can result in human disease, and understanding these mechanisms will enable us to both diagnose individuals at risk of disease earlier, and to develop improved therapeutics to treat these diseases.
Topic coordinator
MMED2934 Introduction to Human Molecular Genetics
MMED3935 Human Molecular Genetics
MMED9151 Medicine 1B Genetics
MMED3938 Advanced Human Molecular Genetics
Topic lecturer
MMED9151 Medicine 1B Genetics
MMED3938 Advanced Human Molecular Genetics
MMED2934 Introduction to Human Molecular Genetics
MMED3935 Human Molecular Genetics
MDSC1102 Skills for Medical Scientists 1
AUDI9100 Audiology 1
AUDI9216 Paediatric Audiology
Supervisory interests
Cancer genetics
Chromatin gene regulation
Disease gene identification
Gene expression
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Human Genetics (1)
Associate supervisor: Human Genetics (5)
Publications

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