Gillian received her first degree in Genetics from the University of Glasgow, which incorporated an industrial work placement year in Astrazeneca, Cheshire. She then carried out her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London where she was involved in a multi-national collaborative study to identify novel genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Following the award of her doctorate (2005), she was awarded a fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and moved to the University of Oxford to develop a new molecular method based on infectious bacterial artificial chromosomes (iBACs) that allowed the functional analyses of disease-associated genetic variation. She was then awarded a fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society (2008) and moved to the University of Edinburgh to expand her research on Alzheimer’s disease candidate genes using the iBAC technology. In 2011, she initiated work on spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). She is primarily interested in identifying novel molecular mechanisms suitable for the development of therapeutic intervention and expanding the evidence for a multi-system involvement in SMA pathogenesis. She joined Glasgow Caledonian University as a Lecturer in 2015.