Katie Ayers is a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, Australia. Her research is focussed on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying gonad development and sexual differentiation, and how these can go awry in human Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). In particular, she is using next generation sequencing technologies to identify genetic variants underlying DSD. This research aims to improve diagnostic rates and an understanding of the fundamental molecular basis for these disorders.
Katie completed her undergraduate studies in Genetics at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2004. Following this she studied for her PhD under a European Union/Marie Curie fellowship at the Institute Valrose in Nice, France. Her PhD, which investigated Hedgehog signaling pathway mechanisms during development, was awarded in 2009. The following year Katie moved to Australia and in 2011
joined the molecular development team at the MCRI, where she is today working with Professor Andrew Sinclair to better diagnose and understand the causes for DSD.