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Dr Gibran Hemani

Dr Gibran Hemani

Dr Gibran Hemani

Senior Research Fellow

Area of research

Statistical genetics and causal inference

Office OG32
Oakfield House,
Oakfield Grove, Clifton BS8 2BN
(See a map)



I completed my PhD in quantitaitve genetics at the University of Edinburgh in 2012, and then spent two years continuing research on genetic architecture at the University of Queensland. I came to the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol in 2014 and here I have worked broadly on statistical genetics, epigenetics and causal inference methodology. I currently hold a Sir Henry Dale fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society on the topic of high dimensional causal modelling.


Activities / Findings

Mendelian randomization

Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have presented us with a treasure trove of findings that can be used for causal inference. This has encouraged recent developments in Mendelian randomisation (MR) to work towards enabling reliable causal inference to be made using GWAS summary data alone. We have developed MR-Base, a computational platform to integrate MR methodology with GWAS data from thousands of traits to automate causal estimation across the human phenome. My research in this area is focused on:

  • Computational and data science methods
  • Statistical methods for improving causal inference

Genetics of DNA methylation

DNA methylation levels naturally vary between individuals, and this is partially driven by genetic factors. Whether these differences are on the pathway to disease can be examined using MR, but genetic factors for these traits need to be identified. Those mQTL studies that seek to find these genetic factors have so far been relatively small, but the computational burden of performing GWAS on hundreds of thousands of methylation levels makes standard meta analysis prohibitive. I co-lead the Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium (GoDMC), which comprise 45+ cohorts from around the world, to overcome the problem of mQTL analysis using tens of thousands of samples. 




I contribute regularly to the following:

  • Intercalated BSc Genomic Medicine, Module on genomic data science
  • European Educational Programme in Epidemiology, Module on genetic epidemiology
  • PHS short courses on Mendelian randomization; Genetic epidemiology; Causal inference


  • Quantitative genetics
  • Mendelian randomization
  • DNA methylation
  • Computational Modelling



Bristol Medical School (PHS)

Other sites

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • GoDMC
  • MR-Base

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