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The Statistical Genetics Unit

The Statistical Genetics Unit (SGU), led by Professor Cathryn Lewis, is a cross-school unit, comprising 20 researchers in the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (SGDP; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience) and in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics (Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine).  Our aims are to develop and apply statistical methods to identify and characterise the genetic component to common, complex disorders. We analyse local studies in psychiatric disorders, data sets such as UK Biobank, and we contribute fully to international genetics consortia.  SGU group members come from diverse academic backgrounds in statistics, psychology, genetics and clinical medicine, and we work collaboratively to make the most of everyone’s expertise.   

Areas of research include:

  • Genome-wide association studies for major depressive disorder through the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, and follow up studies
  • Assesssing the contribution of rare and common variation to psychiatric disorders and other traits
  • Risk prediction using polygenic risk scores, the heritable component of gene expression and environmental risk factors
  • Pharmacogenetic studies identifying the genetic component for response to anti-depressants
  • UK Biobank studies to explore the predictors of healthy aging, physical activity, mental health disorders, cardiovascular disease and common cancers
  • Studying the genetics of the imaging phenotype of white matter hyperintensity, and its relationship with small vessel disease
  • Dissection of the genetic overlap between mental and physical disorders
CATHRYN TEAM Statistical Genetics SGDP 2