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Section of Genetics

Genetic Epidemiology Group

Current Research Topics

  • The largest study under way within GEP is the Mutographs of Cancer project, funded by a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Grand Challenge grant, with the aim of identifying new causes of cancer through whole-genome sequencing and linking mutation signatures to possible novel cancer causes.
  • GEP continues to develop large-scale international consortia of case-control and cohort studies, specifically for three cancer sites (lung, head and neck, and kidney), and to conduct comprehensive genome-wide association studies for these cancers, coupled with large-scale analyses of germline genetic variation using a Mendelian randomization approach.
  • GEP has an active programme on lung cancer research, with a particular focus on identifying susceptibility genes that influence risk along with other, non-genetic biomarkers of risk. The ultimate goal of this research, conducted within the Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium (LC3), is to improve risk prediction models for lung cancer, which may have direct relevance for screening of lung cancer.
  • GEP studies of head and neck cancer include identifying genes involved in susceptibility and how these genes interact with other risk factors, in particular alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • GEP continues to lead extensive fieldwork activities, including recruitment and follow-up of case-control studies for lung, head and neck, and renal cancers, particularly in high-risk regions of central Europe and South America, as well as coordinating large cohort studies, including those in the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Europe.


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