UCL Division of Biosciences


Prof Aroon Hingorani

Chair of Genetic Epidemiology (Honorary Consultant)

Institute of Cardiovascular Science

Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 1996

Research summary

The Genetic Epidemiology Group, led by Professor Aroon Hingorani (British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow), investigates the implications (and applications) of new genetic advances for personal and public health. The work is interdisciplinary, integrative and collaborative. The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care hosts several large, highly phenotyped population-based cohort studies that provide an excellent resource for genetic epidemiology. The group plays a central role in large-scale collaborative studies both nationally and internationally. There are close collaborations with groups engaged in health outcomes research and research using national disease registries. The aims of the group are thus closely aligned to those of the Institute as a whole, which are to enhance the health of patients and populations by promoting public health and improving clinical care. The skills mix of epidemiological, clinical, statistical and behavioural science in the Institute provides the scientific basis to underpin our internationally competitive programme.

There have been a range of strategic developments at UCL that facilitate the work of the group. Support for genotyping and bioinformatics exists through UCL and Partners centralized platform technology service (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/researchdeanery/platform_technologies/) and UCL Genomics (http://www.genomics.ucl.ac.uk/). The Genetic Epidemiology Research Group is also affiliated to the newly created UCL Genetics Institute (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ugi/), which offers centralized core support for bioinformatics, and statistical genetics as well as providing a framework for interfaculty research in human genetics across UCL. Members and affiliates of UGI include clinicians, geneticists, epidemiologists and statisticians. Much of the work of the Genetic Epidemiology Research group is in the field of cardiovascular disease and there are also established and expanding links with the basic sciences and clinical research in cardiovascular disease through the Division of Medicine and the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cardiovascular/). Finally, there are established and highly productive links with several groups in the Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, including links with statistical genetics.

Current areas of activity include:

* Using genetic approaches to understand causal pathways in the onset and progression of common complex disease;

* Exploring the potential for large scale genetic studies in highly phenotyped populations to model the effects of new drug therapies;

* Co-ordination of collaborative genetic work involving the population studies hosted by the Division to exploit opportunities for pooled cross-cohort analyses for the understanding of the factors governing the development of chronic diseases;

* Contributing to the development and application of appropriate methods for the design, conduct and analysis of large scale population studies incorporating genomic information, and the implementation of the findings for risk prediction and causal inference.