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UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science

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Bioinformatics

Modern medical science has entered an era of ‘big data’. The creation of linked electronic health record databases and advent of huge cohort studies, such as UK Biobank, are providing sample sizes on an unparalleled scale for research projects. Simultaneously, recent innovations in biotechnology are allowing us to characterise genetic, physiological, behavioural and environmental factors on individual study participants in ever-finer detail. The combined result of these two frameshifts in epidemiological research prospects is a wealth of massive datasets. This has given rise to requirements for new methods, infrastructure, and the training of personnel to handle the computational burden of large-scale bioinformatic analyses.

The LHA is at the forefront of the big data revolution. Our research interests include:

  • Life course trajectories of multi-morbidity
  • The use of electronic health record data and biomarkers to identify patients at high risk of delirium
  • Mendelian randomisation approaches to understand determinants of older age health and disease
  • Ethnic differences in cardiometabolic health and impact of treatment

To deliver our research goals, we are operating on vast datasets including UK Biobank and general practice records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, and generating a range of high-resolution genetic, molecular, imaging and clinical data on the participants of our in-house cohorts.