University of Malta
 

Professor Angela Xuereb
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Prof. Angela Xuereb

Qualification and Experience

Prof. Xuereb, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. lectures in Biochemistry and Research Methods at the University of Malta, co-ordinates the Medical Laboratory Science degree, and is involved in the teaching and supervision of students on the M.Sc. course in Pathology. Prof. Xuereb has held various research posts in Universities and Research Institutes in the UK before returning to Malta in 1993. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, and has also contributed chapters in books. Prof. Xuereb’s research interest is the Genetics of Osteoporosis and other complex diseases. Prof. Xuereb is responsible for the running of a DNA laboratory at the Medical School, where she supervises various research projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levelare supervised by her. Prof Xuereb has presented her research work at various international conferences.


Research Capacity

Expertise include genomewide linkage scans to identify genes that are responsible for complex diseases such as osteoporosis. A recent study was performed using 400 microsatellite markers (STRs) spread across the 22 autosomes and x-chromosome. Genotyping was performed in 27 members from two Maltese families with a highly penetrant form of osteoporosis. For a population to be useful for the identification of genes in complex disease the population’s genealogical history plays a very important role. The number of founders, expansion rate and major bottlenecks are among the important factors that one has to look at when choosing the population. The Maltese population is a population that expanded exponentially from a much smaller population during the last four hundred years with a possibility of a number of founder effects introduced due to admixture with other populations.


Selected References

Vidal, C., Galea, R., Brincat, M. & Xuereb Anastasi, A.: Linkage to a region on chromosome 11p12 in two Maltese families with severe osteoporosis. European Journal of Human Genetics (in press) (2007).
 
Borg, J., Scerri, C.A., Vidal, C. & Xuereb Anastasi, A.: There is no association between -318 (C/T) and +49 (A/G) CTLA4 gene polymorphisms and the coeliac condition in the Maltese population. Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics 9, 49 – 51 (2007).
 
Vidal, C., Brincat, M. & Xuereb Anastasi, A.: Osteoprotegerin (TNFRSF11B) gene variants increase the risk for low bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in Malta. Maturitas, 53, 386 – 395 (2006).
 
Vidal, C., Grima, C., Brincat, M., Megally, N. & Xuereb Anastasi, A.: Associations of polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor gene (BsmI and FokI) with bone mineral density in Maltese postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis International, 14, 923 – 928 (2003).
 
Xuereb Anastasi A.,  Buhagiar A., Camilleri F., Cauchi M.N.  & Mallia C.:Pyridinium crosslinks excretion in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.   In Rheumaderm: Current Issues in Rheumatology and Arthritis, (Eds. C.Mallia & J.Uitto), p 227-233, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York (1999).
 
Brincat M., Galea R., Muscat Baron Y. &  Xuereb Anastasi  A.: Changes in bone collagen markers and in bone density in hormone treated and untreated postmenopausal women. Maturitas, 27, 171-177 (1997).


Research Funds

For the past ten years Prof Xuereb’s research on the Genetics of Osteoporosis and other Complex Diseases has been supported by the Research Fund Committee of the University of Malta.

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Last Updated: 12 December 2008

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