McVean group research projects

The HapMap Project

Beginning in 2002, the pioneering international Haplotype Mapping (HapMap) project laid much of the groundwork for studies of the genetic basis of common disease. It documented patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in populations of African, Asian and European heritage. Together with Professor Peter Donnelly, Director of WTCHG, Gil McVean chaired the analysis group on the project.

The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortia

WTCCC and WTCCC2 are a set of genome-wide association studies, funded by the Wellcome Trust, investigating the genetic basis of a number of disease conditions by comparing DNA variants in 2000-3000 people with each condition with those of healthy controls. The ground-breaking and award-winning WTCCC study, one of the largest genetic studies then undertaken, examined eight common diseases in 17,000 people. It brought together 50 leading research groups from dozens of UK institutions. Over two years, they analysed almost 10 billion pieces of genetic information, publishing many new disease associations in 2007.

WTCCC2, which includes a centralised data analysis group based at the Centre, covers another 13 conditions including ischaemic stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, bacteraemia and visceral leishmaniasis. WTCCC2 projects are also investigating the genetics of reading and mathematical abilities in children and the pharmacogenomics of response to diabetes drugs. More than 60,000 samples are each being analysed at 1.5 million markers, using high-throughput chip technologies. 

The 1000 Genomes Project

The 1000 Genomes Project is using high-throughput sequencing to carry out a detailed analysis of human genetic variation, aiing to identify variants present in 1 per cent or more of the population. It is currently planning to provide detailed information on some 2500 human genomes from 27 global populations, creating a high-resolution map of genetic variation for use by researchers studying the genetic basis of human disease worldwide. Gil McVean co-chairs the analysis group.

More projects...

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