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Approved Research

Scope Extension: The MC1R Gene: Red Hair and Other Characteristics

Principal Investigator: Professor Ian Jackson
Approved Research ID: 7206
Approval date: June 17th 2020

Lay summary

Hair colour is one of the most striking features of an individual. It is well established that red hair is due to variants in the MC1R gene. This project has two main aims. Firstly, to analyse associations between red hair and other characteristics including self-reported and prospective cancer incidence, in particular melanoma and other skin cancers, but also other diseases and characteristics. Second, to identify other genes that interact with MC1R variants and affect hair colour. Certain MC1R variants do not always cause red hair and we will identify other genes that modify MC1R function.

In addition we wish to study additional pigmentation characteristics of skin and hair, both normal and pathological, and the genes associated with them.