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Approved research

Understanding the genetics of complex diseases/traits to identify potential drug targets and patient stratification markers

Principal Investigator: Dr Lin Li
Approved Research ID: 56859
Approval date: February 26th 2020

Lay summary

Understanding the genetic of complex diseases/traits might help us to identify potential drug targets. It might also help us to stratify population to different risk groups for different diseases or even predict which subjects will be more responsive for a particular treatment. Using statistical and bioinformatics methodologies we plan to analyze the vast UK Biobank data to identify associations between genetic variants and complex diseases/traits (e.g. cardiometabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, immune-related diseases, cancers, cognitive function etc.). We will identify genetic variants that might be associated with different diseases/traits. We will also look how different biomarkers (e.g. genetic, protein biomarkers, imaging) could help to potentially predict disease onset or progression and/or individual response to specific drugs. These analyses can also advance the understanding of specific diseases and the mechanisms of action of therapeutic interventions. We may gain new insights into identification of potential targets for new drug development. The discovery of new biomarkers could help selecting the right patients for clinical trial design, a specific treatment and/or advance new diagnostic tools. If successful, our research will identify genetic variants for a large number of complex diseases/traits. This might aid in improving disease risk prediction, patient stratification, treatment, and will have significant public health benefits. This project is planned for a duration of 3 years with an interest to renew afterwards.