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Approved research

Unrevealing causes and consequences of variation in gut and immune-related phenotypes.

Principal Investigator: Professor Cisca Wijmenga
Approved Research ID: 48548
Approval date: December 6th 2019

Lay summary

Success in genetic studies lead to the identification of hundreds of genetic loci associated with gut and immune diseases. However, the functional understanding of these associations is incomplete. One way to get a better understanding of the functional relevance of genetic association is by performing the phenotype-wide association studies (PheWAS) of the polygenic risk score (PRS). In PRS-PheWAS, the polygenic risk score of a phenotype of interest is being linked to other phenotypes in a large population cohort. This allows identification of intermediate pathways, phenotypes and lifestyle factors, associated with the trait of interest. Cause We will do it by analyzing the association of genetic risk scores of immune diseases and gut microbiome with extensive collection of phenotypes, available in large UK biobank cohort. We expect to identify the environmental modifiers and lifestyle factors that, together with genetic risk, mediate the predisposition to gut and immune diseases. We plan to work on this project in the coming three years. We will publish the biological findings from the data analysis and make the research results publically available. Discovering novel links between the immune system, the gut microbiome and the host phenotypes and environmental factors may aid in improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gut dysbiosis and immune impairment, and have significant public health benefits.