Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Asthma-a test case for precision

Principal Investigator: Justin O'Sullivan
Approved Research ID: 61031
Approval date: June 9th 2020

Lay summary

Asthma is a very common disease in children and adults. Lots of small changes in our DNA have been linked to our chances of developing Asthma. However, what these small DNA changes do and how they contribute to your chances of developing asthma is still unknown. Asthma looks different in different people. This makes it very difficult to say what form of asthma a person has. Therefore, it is hard to group patients and understand how asthma works. As a result, current treatment for asthma is essentially optimized using a trial-by-error search for a suitable treatment for a patient. Because of this, asthma has enormous public healthcare and social costs. In this study, we will identify the genes that are affected by the small DNA changes that have been linked to our chances of developing asthma. We will combine information on how DNA folds in cells with information on gene expression for each DNA sequence in the UkBioBank. Linking all this information with the genotypes and asthma status of people in the UK Biobank, will enable us to identify asthma subtypes and the key changes that put individuals at risk of developing asthma. This will mean we can identify biological pathways for the development of drug targets for asthma. We will also develop new and improved ways to group people with asthma. This will change the ways we apply precision therapy for asthma patients.