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Approved Research

Omics markers of age related diseases and mortality.

Principal Investigator: Dr Maria Timofeeva
Approved Research ID: 75436
Approval date: September 7th 2021

Lay summary

Significant improvement in medicine, quality of life and hygiene over the last century means that many of us can enjoy a happy long life. However, with aging come unpleasant aging-associated diseases and conditions, which can affect individual's quality of life in older age and present a significant burden on public health systems. Prevention and early detection are often a key to successful treatment and better outcomes. At the same time, there is a need for discovery of reliable and easy to measure biomarkers, or indicators of presence or severity of some disease state, for disease diagnostic and prevention to be successful.  The UK Biobank cohort provides a unique resource to study aging-associated diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, hypertension or Alzheimer's. 

Here we propose a study which will focus on identifying candidate genes, intermediate phenotype and biomarkers associated with the risk of aging-associated disease, conditions and survival at older age.

Genetic variants and some of the biomarkers such as lipids, sex hormones or vitamin D were directly measured in biological samples from the UK Biobank participants. We will run association analysis between those biomarkers and risk of developing aging-associated diseases and early mortality. However, many biomarkers of the biological process and gene function, such as level of the proteins in blood or level of gene products - transcripts, are not directly available. For those biomarkers we propose to use state-of-the-art statistical methods and genetic information to predict unmeasured levels. We will corelate predicted level of biomarkers with the outcomes of interest to find candidate genes and gene products and get an insight into mechanisms of aging. This is a discovery focused study which we aim to replicated in in-house cohorts of aging populations from Denmark. The replicated biomarkers will pinpoint towards potential clinical targets for disease prevention, early detection and treatment.