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Dr Jill McKay

Associate Professor

Department: Applied Sciences

After completing her first degree in Medical Microbiology at Newcastle University, Jill joined the Human Nutrition Research Centre at Newcastle to undertake a PhD in Molecular Nutrition under the supervision of Prof. John Mathers. Jill continued her career at Newcastle University as a post-doctoral researcher and subsequently Lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology before joining Northumbria University as Senior Lecturer in 2018.

As a PhD student and post-doctoral researcher, Jill’s research interests focused on the developmental origins of health and disease. In this area she had a specific focus towards understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying associations observed between sub-optimum nutrition during early development and adverse adult health. During her early career, she utilised animal models and human cohorts to investigate these associations, using a range of molecular techniques including gene expression analysis (candidate specific and transcriptomic approaches), epigenetic analysis (DNA methylation assessment at the candidate and methylomic level) and genotyping. 

In her role as lecturer, Jill’s portfolio expanded to include interests in the developmental origins of childhood cancer (with specific interests in leukaemia) and obesity. More recently she has begun to develop mechanistic and long term outcome studies to help understand the underlying mechanisms and risk factors associated with treatment related toxicities and long term adverse effects for childhood cancer survivors.  

Jill McKay

Campus Address

447 Northumberland Building



Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Childhood DNA methylation as a marker of early life rapid weight gain and subsequent overweight, Robinson, N., Brown, H., Antoun, E., Godfrey, K., Hanson, M., Lillycrop, K., Crozier, S., Murray, R., Pearce, M., Relton, C., Albani, V., McKay, J. 12 Jan 2021, In: Clinical Epigenetics
  • The Biological and Social Determinants of Childhood Obesity: Comparison of 2 Cohorts 50 Years Apart: comparison of two cohorts 50 years apart, Robinson, N., McKay, J., Pearce, M., Albani, V., Wright, C., Adamson, A., Brown, H. 1 Jan 2021, In: The Journal of Pediatrics
  • DNA methylation and the hygiene hypothesis: connecting respiratory allergy and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Langie, S., Timms, J., De Boever, P., McKay, J. 1 Oct 2019, In: Epigenomics
  • Exploring a potential mechanistic role of DNA methylation in the relationship between in utero and post-natal environmental exposures and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Timms, J., Relton, C., Sharp, G., Rankin, J., Strathdee, G., McKay, J. 1 Dec 2019, In: International Journal of Cancer
  • Folate and epigenetics: why we should not forget bacterial biosynthesis, Kok, D., Steegenga, W., McKay, J. Sep 2018, In: Epigenomics
  • Maternal Red Blood Cell Folate and Infant Vitamin B12 Status Influence Methylation of Genes Associated with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Potter, C., Moorman, A., Relton, C., Ford, D., Mathers, J., Strathdee, G., McKay, J. 1 Nov 2018, In: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
  • Effect of methotrexate/Vitamin B12 on DNA methylation as a potential factor in leukemia treatment-related neurotoxicity, Forster, V., McDonnell, A., Theobald, R., McKay, J. 1 Sep 2017, In: Epigenomics
  • Maternal folate depletion during early development and high fat feeding from weaning elicit similar changes in gene expression, but not in DNA methylation, in adult offspring, McKay, J., Xie, L., Adriaens, M., Evelo, C., Ford, D., Mathers, J. 6 Feb 2017, In: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
  • DNA methylation as a potential mediator of environmental risks in the development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Timms, J., Relton, C., Rankin, J., Strathdee, G., McKay, J. 1 Apr 2016, In: Epigenomics
  • Gene promoter DNA methylation patterns have a limited role in orchestrating transcriptional changes in the fetal liver in response to maternal folate depletion during pregnancy, McKay, J., Adriaens, M., Evelo, C., Ford, D., Mathers, J. 1 Sep 2016, In: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

PGR Supervision

Jessica Saville Environmental determinants of chromosomal translocations: towards identifying and understanding modifiable risk factors of childhood and therapy-related leukaemia Start Date: 01/10/2018


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