Chair of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council, UK Biobank EGC
Bio: Baroness Hayman has been a member of the House of Lords since 1996, and in 2006 became the first elected Lord Speaker. She has a wealth of experience in the health sector having served on medical ethics committees and governing bodies in the National Health Service as well as on health charities and regulators. She was first Chair of the Human Tissue Authority and is former Chair of Cancer Research UK. She is currently Chair of the board of Cambridge University Health Partners, a member of the General Medical Council and a trustee of Malaria Consortium and the Disasters Emergency Committee.
Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford
Bio: Aiden Doherty is a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford. His research interest is in the development of computational methods to extract meaningful health information from complex and noisy sensor data in very large health studies. This builds on experience at Microsoft Research, Dublin City University (both in computing departments) and the University of Oxford (population health and biomedical engineering). Aiden has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and is on the UK Biobank expert working group on processing accelerometer data.
Dr Eric Meslin
Vice Chair of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council, UK Biobank EGC
Bio: Dr. Meslin is President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). He joined the CCA in 2016 after 15 years as founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Associate Dean for Bioethics in the Indiana University School of Medicine, and Professor of Bioethics. From 1996-98 he was director of bioethics research in the ELSI program at the National Human Genome Research Institute, and from 1998-2001 he was Executive Director of the U.S. National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Dr. Meslin has more than 150 published articles and book chapters on topics in bioethics and science policy and has held academic appointments at University of Toronto, University of Oxford, University of Western Australia and University of Toulouse, where he was Pierre de Fermat Chaire d’Excellence. He is currently a visiting scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and University of Cambridge, and at the Centre for Genomics and Policy at McGill University. He has been a member of several boards including the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs; the Ethics Subcommittee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Board of Directors of Genome Canada. Among his honours Dr. Meslin is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Chevalier de L’Order Nationale du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) for contributions to French bioethics policy.
Research fellow, University of Exeter
Bio: Jess is a Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Research Fellow. Her research aims to use genetics to understand the factors contributing to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The majority of her research utilises the UK Biobank data set which has over 500,000 people and as such is a very powerful epidemiological resource. Genetic data is currently available on 150,000 participants and data on the full cohort is expected by mid-2016. Dr Tyrrell is utilising this data to understand what factors (e.g. lifestyle - diet, exercise etc. and biochemical - lipids, hormones) may be causally associated with type 2 diabetes. This work utilises a technique known as Mendelian randomisation.
Senior Epidemiologist, UK Biobank
Bio: Dr Naomi Allen is a Senior Epidemiologist at Oxford University. She will use her previous experience at the Million Women Study to help develop additional measures of exposure for UK Biobank, thereby expanding the types of research using the resource. One of the planned enhancements that Naomi is working on is the analysis of data from the diet web questionnaire, and other enhancements such as our activity monitor devices to measure physical activity. The Million Women Study is itself a landmark health project. It is investigating the factors that affect health in women aged 50 and over, including use of HRT, diet, childbirth and family history of disease. Scientists are using the resource to investigate the causes of a wide range of cancers, heart disease, fractures and other conditions.
Adjunct Professor, University of Southern Denmark
Bio: Søren Brage is is the Group Leader of the Physical Activity Epidemiology group. His research interests include developing and evaluating assessment methods for physical activity and fitness at population level, the descriptive epidemiology of physical activity, characterisation of the relationship between physical activity and metabolic disease, and how this relationship may be modified by genetic factors.
Søren has an MSc in Exercise Science and an honours degree in health research from the University of Southern Denmark (Odense). He also has MPhil and PhD degrees in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge. During his PhD, he developed and evaluated techniques for objective assessment of physical activity and fitness in populations, using combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring. These and similar objective methods have now been implemented in several population studies nationally and worldwide which form the basis of the Physical Activity Epidemiology group’s work.
Søren holds a secondary position as Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense).
Honorary Lecturer, Department Of Health Sciences, University of Leicester
Bio: Susan E. Wallace is Honorary Lecturer of Population and Public Health Sciences in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester. She is also a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX), University of Oxford, UK. Her research interests include the legal and policy implications of population-based and disease-based longitudinal cohort studies and biobanks; the ethical issues surrounding the collection, use, linking and sharing of research data; and research ethics review. She co-chairs the University of Leicester College of Medicine and Biological Sciences Research Ethics Committee. Currently, she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of ELIXIR, the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) Ethics and Policy Committee and the UK ICGC Prostate Project Oversight Group. She was involved in the BioSHaRE-EU (FP7) project which focused on the development and evaluation of tools and methods for accessing and exploiting data from biobanks and cohort studies.
Clinical research fellow, University of Edinburgh
Bio: Dr Tim Wilkinson is a clinical research fellow and a member of Prof Cathie Sudlow’s MRC Dementias Platform UK Work Package 9 (WP9) team at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.He is investigating the accuracy of using routinely-collected health data for the identification of neurodegenerative diseases in large population cohorts such as UK Biobank.
Tim has taken time out of his neurology training in order to study for a PhD as part of this project. He also has an MSc in Translational Medicine, an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Legal Counsel, UK Biobank
Bio: Jonathan is the legal counsel and company secretary of UK Biobank. He is an expert in intellectual property, life sciences and data protection law.
BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester
Bio: My main research interest is in the genetics of complex cardiovascular diseases. Among contributions my colleagues and I have made to this field are: the first demonstration of limited haplotype diversity over long distances in the human genome (1996); the first success in trans-ethnic fine mapping of a complex genetic trait in man (1998); the first large-scale genetic studies of myocardial infarction (2000-2004); the introduction of the approach known as “Mendelian Randomisation” into genetic epidemiology (2001); several large-scale meta-analyses of genetic associations with myocardial infarction (2005-2008); demonstration of the mechanism involved in the association between MI and its strongest common genetic risk factor (polymorphisms at CDKN2B-AS1 ); demonstration of association between copy number variants in the human genome and sporadic congenital heart disease (2012) and the first published genome-wide association studies of congenital heart disease (2013).
My group are now chiefly interested in understanding the functional biology underlying some of the many genetic associations with complex cardiovascular diseases that have been detected in genome-wide association studies (including our own work), and using next-generation sequencing approaches to further define the genetic architecture of congenital heart disease.
Professor Daniel Smith
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Glasgow
Bio: Daniel Smith is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. He chairs the Scottish Mental Health Research Network's Clinical Research Group for Bipolar Disorder, acts as Medical Advisor to Bipolar Scotland, and is the academic representative on the Glasgow Psychosis Clinical Information System (PsyCIS) Steering Committee.
Professor Smith trained in medicine at the University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1994 and MB ChB, 1996) and completed a clinical research training fellowship in Edinburgh alongside an International Masters in Affective Neuroscience (MD, Edinburgh 2006 and MSc, Maastricht 2006). After higher clinical training in psychiatry, he obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to work at the Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at Cardiff University (2008-2011). He moved to the University of Glasgow in 2012.
David van Heel
Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics , Queen Mary University of London
Bio: I completed a Natural Sciences BA at Cambridge University in 1990 and Clinical Medicine training at University of Oxford (George Pickering Finals Prize) in 1993. A Medical Research Council Clinical Training Fellowship led to a PhD from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford in 2002. I was then a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellow at Imperial College London from 2002 to 2006. I completed specialist medical training as a Consultant in Gastroenterology in 2004.
In 2006, I was appointed to Professor of Genetics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at Barts Health NHS Trust.
I was awarded the 2009 Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Award by the British Society of Gastroenterology.
I currently direct the Barts and The London Genome Centre (2011-), 7.5 FTE staff, annual turnover ~£1.0m. We were first in London with Illumina high throughput sequencing (2007) and now (2013) single cell genomics. I am Lead for the medical school's Genomic Medicine Research Theme (2011-).
I am Clinical Information Officer for Barts Health NHS Trust (NHS medical informatics/eHealth, usage & research, 2013-). We won the 2014 E Health Insider Digital NHS Trust of the Year award (http://www.ehi.co.uk/insight/analysis/1389/ehi-awards-2014:-top-stuff). Advice from the Clinical Information Officers (primarily intended for Doctors at Barts Health, and mostly focussed on our local build of the Cerner Millenium system) is available here: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/dvanheel/CIO_BartsHealth/
I run a NHS Gastroenterology Outpatient Clinic (special interest in coeliac disease) at the Royal London Hospital (NHS secretary email: firstname.lastname@example.org , tel: 0203 594 3200). I am a member of the patient charity Coeliac UK's Health Advisory Committee. I co-wrote the 2014 UK guidelines on Diagnosis and management of adult coeliac disease (http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/24917550).
Professor of Human Metabolism and the Director of the Research Centre for Optimal Health (ReCOH), University of Westminster
Bio: Professor Bell is a Professor of Human Metabolism at the University of Westminster and the Director of the Research Centre for Optimal Health (ReCOH), which he created to focus on research in obesity and the factors that determine optimal health and accelerated ageing.
Jimmy completed his PhD at London University in 1987, developing MR techniques to assess biological processes, continuing as a post-doctoral researcher in metabolism and obesity. He subsequently joined the Royal Postgraduate Medical School as a Lecturer, where he worked on the methodologies for the study of disease development, demonstrating the importance of gene-environment interaction in obesity.
Professor Bell joined the Imperial College London in the mid-90's, where he was appointed Professor and Group Head. His research program focused on integrating biochemical, molecular biology, and MR techniques to define the influences of genetics and environmental factors on optimal health and chronic diseases, particularly those associated with adipose tissue metabolism and function.
Department lead of Public Health and Primary Care , University of Cambridge
Bio: Professor Danesh trained in medicine at the University of Otago in New Zealand and at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. During his time as a Rhodes scholar, he received an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a DPhil in Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007.
Professor Danesh is the founder and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit (CEU), a multi-disciplinary Unit of over 60 staff and students that aims to advance understanding and prevention of cardiovascular disease through population health research.
Professor Danesh chairs UK Biobank’s Outcomes Working Group and is a member of the UK Biobank Steering Committee. He is also a member of the national steering committee of the NIHR BioResource.
He is deputy chair of the Wellcome Trust’s Expert Review Group on Genetics / Genomics / Population Research and a member of the MRC’s Population and Systems Medicine Board. He serves on editorial boards, eg: European Journal of Epidemiology, Human Genomics, and international advisory boards, eg: Novartis, Merck, BioScale.
At the local level, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, and leads its Population Science programme. He is a member of the Cambridge University Hospital Research Board and of the Steering Committee of the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health.
Director, MRC Dementias Platform UK
Bio: Professor John Gallacher is the PI and Director of the MRC funded Dementia Platform UK (DPUK), Professor of Cognitive Health at the University of Oxford and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University. Gallacher is also PI for the Caerphilly Prospective Study and has developed the study’s focus on ageing and dementia. As member of the UK Biobank Steering Group, he leads on cognitive and psychological assessment. He is a visiting Professor to Imperial College London and Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He is Chair of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) Scientific Advisory Board.
Professor of Statistical Genomics, Department of Statistics University of Oxford
Bio: Jonathan is interested in developing statistical methods, theory and computational tools and software that solve problems, and help others make discoveries, in the areas of human disease genetics and population genetics. He currently holds an ERC Consolidator Award to work on methods development for high-dimensional genetic datasets.
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Bio: I trained in medicine and continue to do clinical work as a general practitioner in north London. I joined LSHTM in 1999 and hold a Wellcome Trust senior research fellowship in clinical science. I am Deputy Director of the UCL Partners Farr Institute for e Health Research. As well as academic and clinical work I am involved in a range of activities for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the UK National Health Service more widely.
My major interests are in disease aetiology and drug treatments. Two key elements of this work are the use of clinical data derived from primary care for epidemiological research, and utilising genetic research to inform our knowledge of the underlying causes of disease. I also have an interest in non-communicable disease epidemiology in low-income countries, with a particular focus on cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Examples of completed projects include studies establishing that acute infection could trigger both arterial and venous vascular events and work on environmental triggers of myocardial infarction. I have an on-going interest in pharmacoepidemiology, particularly around cardiovascular drugs. For example, we demonstrated an increased risk of stroke associated with exposure to anti-psychotic drugs. Other interests include intervention trials, systematic reviews and health inequalities.
Professor of Neuroimaging, Head of Structural & Physics Modeling, University of Oxford
Bio: Structural Modelling and Analysis Group
There are two major themes to my research: (i) correction of motion and motion-related artefacts which is important for dealing with patients, children and pain-related experiments; and (ii) structural segmentation and analysis of brain anatomy, especially sub-cortical structures and their relationship with disease.
Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leicester
Bio: Investigation of the genetic determinants of common complex diseases and traits
I am a clinical genetic epidemiologist at the University of Leicester and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health, and took up an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship award in 2007. Our research involves assessing the relationship between genome-wide sequence variation and copy number variation and common diseases. I co-lead genome-wide consortium studies for lung function and blood pressure. Recent work of our team includes the discovery of novel loci for blood pressure, novel loci for lung function, and contributions to the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium Copy Number Variation Group. Ongoing work includes the discovery of rare variants underlying respiratory disease and the study of the role of copy number variation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Professor of General Hospital Psychiatry, King's College London
Bio: Research interests
Epidemiology and clinical informatics; use of technologies to enhance phenotyping of psychiatric disorders; liaison psychiatry
Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, University of Southampton
Bio: Prof Harvey’s work has focussed on investigating the factors which influence bone development early in life, a subject which has the potential for great public health impact. His contributions include:
1. Confirmation that low maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D concentration during pregnancy is associated with reduced bone mass in the offspring (Harvey et al.,JCEM 2008; Javaid et al.,Lancet 2006; Mahon et al.,JBMR 2010);
2. Confirmation that maternal exercise, fat mass and behaviour during pregnancy influence bone mass (Harvey et al.,JDOHAD 2010) and body composition (Harvey et al.,JCEM 2007; Harvey et al., JCEM 2014) in the offspring;
3. Demonstration of links between daily physical activity levels, calcium intake and bone strength in a community population of children (Harvey et al.,OI 2012);
4. Description of relationships between growth in utero, measured using gestational ultrasound scanning, and skeletal development in childhood (Harvey et al.,JBMR 2010, Harvey et al.,PPE 2012; Harvey et al.,Ped Res 2013);
5. Elucidation of aetiological factors underlying these epidemiological observations, such as the relationship between placental calcium transporters and offspring bone mass (Martin et al.,Bone 2007), and epigenetic regulation of genes in umbilical cord (Harvey et al.,CTI 2012; Harvey et al., JBMR 2014);
6. Demonstration that bariatric surgery does not appear to increase fracture risk, at least up to 5 years post-surgery (Lalmohamed et al., BMJ 2012).
He leads a programme of work to further elucidate the aetiology of these findings, and to translate these epidemiological and laboratory observations into novel public health strategies aimed at optimizing accrual of bone mineral in early life, thus reducing fracture risk in older age.
Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology & Glaucoma Studies, University College London
Bio: My research into the diagnosis and management of angle-closure glaucoma is already providing practical benefits to patients in the UK in my angle-closure glaucoma clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital, which provides approximately 2,000 patient visits as well as 600 laser and surgical procedures per year. My future research into the epidemiology of glaucoma will involve collaborative work with colleagues at Cambridge University working on the EPIC Norfolk cohort, which will encompass primary open angle glaucoma, and involve assessment of the impact of diet, lifestyle and environment on glaucoma. Ongoing research into the molecular genetics of glaucoma and refractive error offers further exciting prospects for identifying aetiological mechanisms and possible novel therapeutic options.
Chairman of the UK Biobank Board, UK Biobank
Bio: Sir Michael Rawlins has been chairman of the National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) since its formation in 1999. He is president-elect of the Royal Society of Medicine and assumes office in July 2012. He is also an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was the Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from 1973 to 2006 .At the same time he held the position of consultant physician and consultant clinical pharmacologist to the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust. He was vice-chairman (1987-1992) and chairman (1993-1998) of the Committee on Safety of Medicines; and chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1998 – 2008).
British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester
Bio: Nilesh Samani is British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester. He is also Director of the Leicester National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Unit in Cardiovascular Disease and Consultant Cardiologist at the Cardiac Centre, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.
Professor Samani was born in Kenya and moved to the UK in 1971. He graduated from the University of Leicester Medical School in 1981. Professor Samani’s clinical practice is in adult and interventional cardiology. His research interests are focused around understanding the inherited basis of common cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary artery disease and hypertension.
Professor Samani is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, is a NIHR Senior Investigator and holds fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology. He serves or has served on the editorial boards of several journals including the Quarterly Journal of Medicine, Clinical Science, Journal of Hypertension and Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics. In 2010, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire
Principal Investigator, UK Biobank
Bio: Rory Collins was appointed Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank in September 2005. He is co-director of Oxford University’s Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) and an expert in large scale studies to investigate the causes, prevention and treatment of common disease. He encourages wide use of the UK Biobank resource across the global research community
Professor, Cambridge neuroscience, University of Cambridge
Bio: My group researches multiple sclerosis. We use genetic analysis to identify relevant variants and then attempt to understand the immunological and neurobiological consequences of these using expression studies and functional assays. As well as continuing efforts to identify variants influencing susceptibility we are also undertaking studies to identify the genetic factors influencing the clinical course of the disease and its response to treatment. Working in collaboration with the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC, https://www.imsgenetics.org/) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC, http://www.wtccc.org.uk/) we have already identified over 100 variants associated with susceptibility. In parallel with our on-going genetic studies we are now also investigating how these variants influence gene expression in immune cells from the blood and the CSF, and undertaking functional assays to determine the effects of selected variants.
Member of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council, UK Biobank EGC
Bio: Sheelagh McGuinness is a University Fellow based in the Centre for Health Law, Science & Policy, at Birmingham Law School. Her research interests span law and bioethics (particularly reproduction, medical migration, and disability) focusing on the interplay between law, ethics, and policy. She also sits on the Royal College of General Practitioners Medical Ethics Committee.
Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Bio: I am a Statistician in Willem Ouwehand's group at the University of Cambridge, working on the genetics of blood traits.
We shortly plan to whole genome sequence 800 UK Biobank volunteers with extremely high (400) and extremely low (400) red blood cell counts in an effort to find rare variants modulating the blood cell counts.
I have also been heavily involved in a genome wide association meta-analysis of UK Biobank and INTERVAL blood trait data led by Nicole Soranzo and Adam Butterworth. (INTERVAL is an n=50 000 RCT of blood donors, a collaboration between our group and those of John Danesh and David Roberts.) This study has identified over 2000 novel causally independent associations between blood counts and alleles many of which are rare.
Bio: Giles Maskell studied medicine at Merton College, Oxford and at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, qualifying as a doctor in 1980. After five years working in general medicine and gastroenterology he undertook radiology training first at Guy’s Hospital in London and later at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and in Auckland, New Zealand.
He was appointed consultant at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro in 1991 where he continues to work as a radiologist with interests in gastro-intestinal and oncological radiology. He has served two terms as the trust’s Director of Cancer Services.
Away from radiology, Giles is married to a GP and has three teenage children. He is a keen skier and recreational cyclist. Getting from Truro to London each week involves a long train journey, which gives him plenty of reading time. Once in London, his preferred method of transport is the 'Boris bike', an experience that he finds alternately life-affirming and life-threatening or frequently both in the course of the same short journey.
University of Edinburgh
Bio: Professor Cathie Sudlow, a clinician and scientist with a particular interest in understanding the causes and prevention of strokes, is UK Biobank’s Chief Scientist and Senior Epidemiologist. Dr Sudlow is Clinical Reader and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the University of Edinburgh, and continues to look after patients with strokes and other neurological disorders. She holds a number of key positions within stroke research, including chair of the British Association of Stroke Physicians scientific committee, and membership of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium. Cathie’s role will include overseeing UK Biobank’s linkages to health records and working with expert groups to ensure that these records are combined in the best way for health-related research on a range of different conditions. She also looks forward to developing new ideas for improving the resource to make it more useful to the health researchers.