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Personal profile


Karen studied biochemistry at the University of Leeds spending one year as a sandwich student at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Essex.  At GSK Karen experienced the drug discovery process through performing large-scale purifications of protein drug targets.  Developing a strong interest in neurodegeneration Karen joined the lab of Dr Jean-Marc Gallo at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.  Her PhD “tau RNA processing in neurodegeneration: trans-acting factors regulating alternative splicing and mRNA localisation” was awarded in 2009.  As a post-doc in Dr Gallo’s lab Karen established proof-of-concept for RNA reprogramming strategies including RNA trans-splicing therapies for spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 and the tauopathies.  In 2010 Karen successfully translated her RNA expertise to the neuromuscular field and moved to the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, Institute of Child Health, University College London (UCL).  Working with Professor Francesco Muntoni, Karen played a key role in developing antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping as a therapeutic strategy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  Her pre-clinical and clinical work in this area culminated in the first FDA-approved drug for DMD.  In 2015 Karen attained a lectureship at the University of Northampton where she founded and leads the Molecular Biosciences Research Group.  Her laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders with a focus on the neuropathophysiology of DMD.  Karen also consults for international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on methodology for clinical trial biochemical outcome measures and the development of exon skipping therapies.

Research Interests

Karen’s research is focused on RNA processing and the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuromuscular disorders.  Current research projects and interests include:

-Neuropathophysiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

-The role of the DMD gene in neurological cancers

-RNA processing of the dystrophin gene

-Exercise in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

-Therapeutic targeting of dystrophin in the brain

-RNA processing in neurodegeneration-Biomarkers of cognition

-RNA-based gene therapy/therapeutics


Amanda Ash; Sports, Exercise and Life Science

Cell migration in the neuropathophysiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Michael Naidoo; Sports, Exercise and Life Science

The role of dystrophin in neurological malignancies.

Kate Jarvis; Sports, Exercise and Life Science

Effect of ketone bodies on coupling efficiency and coping capacity of mitochondria: Implications for Ketogenic diets in treatment and prevention of chronic disease

Nermin Albalbeisi; Sports, Exercise and Life Science

Potential role of PAD2 in Ovarian Cancer.


Teaching Interests

Pedagogical research interests include:

-Formalisation of science communication training in undergraduate science degrees

-Science blogs as a teaching tool for the life sciences

Undergraduate teaching:

Karen teaches across the BSc (Hons) in Human Bioscience, BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science and BSc (Hons) in Biology programmes:

Module Leader:

  • SLS1017: Science Communication
  • SLS3010: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
  • SLS4005: Human Bioscience Dissertation

Teaching on other modules:

  • SLS2001: Genes and Genomics
  • SLS2010: Health and Disease 2
  • SLS2013: Bioscience Research Methods
  • SLS3002: Integrated Medical Genetics

Postgraduate teaching (taught programmes) 

  • MSc in Molecular Bioscience 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Northampton


PhD, King's College London


Bachelor, University of Leeds





  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • QP Physiology
  • QM Human anatomy
  • QH301 Biology
  • QH426 Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen Anthony is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Medicine & Life Sciences
Dystrophin Medicine & Life Sciences
Exons Medicine & Life Sciences
Antisense Oligonucleotides Medicine & Life Sciences
Morpholinos Medicine & Life Sciences
Clinical Trials Medicine & Life Sciences
Dystrophin-Associated Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
RNA Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2007 2018

A multicenter comparison of quantification methods for antisense oligonucleotide-induced DMD exon 51 skipping in Duchenne muscular dystrophy cell cultures

Hiller, M., Falzarano, M. S., Garcia-Jimenez, I., Sardone, V., Verheul, R. C., Popplewell, L., Anthony, K., Ruiz-Del-Yerro, E., Osman, H., Goeman, J. J., Mamchaoui, K., Dickson, G., Ferlini, A., Muntoni, F., Aartsma-Rus, A., Arechavala-Gomeza, V., Datson, N. A. & Spitali, P., 2 Oct 2018, In : PLoS ONE. 13, 10, p. 1-15 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Antisense Oligonucleotides
Cell Culture Techniques
Polymerase Chain Reaction
3 Downloads (Pure)

Neuropathophysiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: involvement of the dystrophin isoform Dp71 in cell migration and proliferation

Ash, A., Machado, L., Raleigh, S. M. & Anthony, K., 1 Apr 2018, In : Neuromuscular Disorders. 28, Sup. 1

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Cell Movement
Protein Isoforms
Cell Proliferation

A UV cross-linking method combined with infrared imaging to analyse RNA–protein interactions

Malmqvist, T., Spickett, C., Gallo, J-M. & Anthony, K., 5 Jun 2017, In : Biology Methods & Protocols. 2, 1, p. 1-4 4 p., 1.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Infrared imaging
Untranslated Regions
RNA Probes

Brain involvement in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a role for dystrophin isoform Dp71 in cell migration and proliferation

Ash, A., Booth-Wynne, L. & Anthony, K., 2 Oct 2017, In : Neuromuscular Disorders. 27, Supp 2

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Cell Movement
Protein Isoforms
Cell Proliferation

Health and wellbeing amongst older people research in Northamptonshire

Poole, H., Sixsmith, J., Parkes, J., Ward, A., Pyer, M., Campbell, J., Machado, L., Rehling, T., Youell, J., Carter, J., Oyebode, J., O’Malley, M., Anthony, K., Rogers, S., Jones, J., Siddons, L., Smith, L-A., Kay, T., Fraser, M., Score, J. & 8 others, El Khoury, L., Hameed, A., Albalbeisi, N., Durrant, L. G., Al-Zubaidi, R., Al-Rayahi, I., da Silva, K. & Taylor, J., 1 Aug 2017, In : East Midlands Research into Ageing Network (EMRAN) Discussion Paper Series. 15

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

Open Access
research practice


Activities 2015 2019

  • 2 Participating in a conference or workshop
  • 1 Workshop

COST Action: CA17103. Delivery of Antisense RNA Therapeutics

Karen Anthony (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopParticipating in a conference or workshopResearch


Speed mentoring with MindTorch

Karen Anthony (Keynote speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsWorkshopTeaching

11th Annual Meeting of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society

Karen Anthony (Participant)
11 Oct 201514 Oct 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopParticipating in a conference or workshopResearch


FDA approves first drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)

Karen Anthony (Co-Investigator)

Impact: Public policy impacts, Health and Well-Being impacts, Quality of life impacts