Cristina Dias trained in Medical Genetics in Porto, Portugal, where she developed an interest in developmental disorders. She went on to work as a consultant in her native Canada, also qualifying in Medical Genetics with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
In British Columbia, Cristina aligned her clinical and research interests using new genomic technologies to investigate children with rare neurogenetic and neuromuscular diseases.
To further her skills and expertise towards the understanding the pathophysiology of genetically determined intellectual disability (ID), Cristina went on to do a PhD at the University of Cambridge and Wellcome Sanger Institute. There, she demonstrated how mutations in BCL11A cause a novel ID syndrome using cellular and mouse models.
Cristina maintains her interest in investigating the role of transcriptional regulation control in early neurodevelopment. She was appointed Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London, and has a secondment at the The Francis Crick Institute. Here Cristina is working with neurodevelopmental biologist Francois Guillemot to determine the role of BAF swi/snf chromatin regulation in early brain development, and the mechanisms underpinning abnormal neurodevelopment in human cellular models.
As a clinician and researcher, her ultimate objective is to make a significant contribution to the development of translational research in neurodevelopmental disorders and thereby improve the health care of children and their families.