Applied genetic epidemiology and study design. : Nic Timpson

Programme Overview 

This programme of research concerns the contribution of genetic factors to complex traits and the use of genetic data within frameworks of epidemiological analysis allowing causal inference. I am currently the PI for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (www.bris.ac.uk/alspac). I also currently lead a programme within the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC IEU) focused on the development and application of Recall by Genotype (RbG) studies. These are currently being employed and developed into a nation-wide strategy across suitable participant collections including the NIHR Bioresource. In June 2016, I was successful in securing a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award which running for six years from September 2016. This work realises my continuing research focus on understanding body mass index (BMI) as a risk factor. With this I co-lead a work package applying RbG to questions pertinent to the aetiology of cancer risk and progression in the CRUK supported Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) and am part of the cardiovascular and translational work streams in the Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR).

Importantly, the work I have undertaken in the field of applied genetic epidemiology (through the course of the MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology) and through the first five years of the MRC IEU have lead me to develop methods which are now being applied to focus questions. These are currently around the impact of body composition on metabolomic profile and health, cancer risk and progression and the aetiology of post cardiac surgery complications. All of these have causality at their heart and seek to use genetics to better understand health and disease. 

Research Highlights 

Dr Nic Timpson

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