Cortisol-responsive gene networks in cardiovascular disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.



Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013166/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2025
1938124 Studentship MR/N013166/1 31/08/2017 28/02/2021
Description Cortisol Network (CORNET) consortium 
Organisation Cortisol Network (CORNET)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I undertook analysis, linking genetic variants associated with plasma cortisol to changes in gene expression as expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTLs). I also performed colocalisation analysis between the cortisol and eQTL signals. This work is currently being complied as a manuscript to which I have contributed and hold a position of co-first author.
Collaborator Contribution CORNET was established with the initial aim of identifying genetic determinants of inter-individual variation in HPA axis function. The CORNET consortium extended its genome-wide association meta-analysis (GWAMA) for morning plasma cortisol from 12,597 to 25,314 subjects and from ~2.2M to ~7M SNPs, in 17 population-based cohorts of European ancestries. We confirmed the genetic association with SERPINA6/SERPINA1. No new loci were identified. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses undertaken in STARNET, showing that specific genetic variants within the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus influence expression of SERPINA6 rather than SERPINA1 in the liver. Collaborators at The University of Bristol carried out the GWAMA and conducted Mendelian Randomisation (MR) analysis. Additional consortium members contributed cohorts to the analysis.
Impact - A manuscript is currently in preparation which will report the latest findings previously stated. The work reported from this publication provides the groundwork for further downstream analysis that is currently being conducted. This is a collaboration between geneticists, epidemiologists and endocrinologists.
Start Year 2017
Description Article in The Biochemist Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I wrote an article in The Biochemist Blog, an offshoot of "The Biochemist", the official website of The Biochemical Society. The article used language that could be understood by a general audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description Cafe Synthetique 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was a founding member of the organisation Cafe Synthetique which aims to bring discussion of synthetic biology to a specialist and general audience through monthly events. These events include workshops and discussions with invited speakers and take place in a relaxed atmosphere to stimulate discussion. My role was hosting these sessions until I stepped down in late 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
Description Midlothian Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Researchers from the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cardiovascular Science attended the Midlothian Science Festival and hosted the event "stress busters". This was aimed at a general audience with activities catered to children of primary school age. The activity helped to describe to children the biological effects of stress and understanding the impact that cortisol has on the human body and in other animals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019