Defining shared and distinct genetic/genomic mechanisms that underlie the impact of environmental factors on lung function

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Health Sciences


Human physiological traits are influenced by a range of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. The development of genetic, informatics and biological systems based workflows that allow us to use a combination of large scale human phenotypic, genetic and genomic data will increase our understanding of traits such as lung function.

This project will involve analysis of the rich phenotypic and genetic data now available from a new local cohort, the EXCEED (EXtended Cohort for E-health, Environment and DNA) study (6500 individuals), to study environmental and genetic effects on lung function. These available data include primary care electronic medical records with information on attendance, diagnoses, prescriptions and pathology results. These data will be integrated with measurements for more than 25 million genetic variants and used to analyse the relationships between lung function parameters and environmental stresses. A key focus of the project will be the effect of pathogen infection on lung health leading to insight into the mechanisms underlying exacerbations, and potential therapeutic interventions, in respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The student will join a group leading high-profile respiratory genomics research and will have access to excellent training facilities and research opportunities within the University
and in partnership with GSK. A minimum of 12 weeks will be spent on placement at GSK over the course of the studentship.

The studentship will be under the supervision of Professor Martin Tobin (Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester) and Dr David Michalovich (GSK) and will involve collaboration with colleagues in and outside Leicester, thus ensuring a rich research environment at the interface of statistics, medicine and genetics. Genetic epidemiology is a growing field with excellent postdoctoral employment opportunities.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/P504324/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020
1832356 Studentship BB/P504324/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Alexander Williams