My research aims to understand the genetic basis of common diseases and quantitative health traits. This is achieved through genome-wide association testing approaches in large-scale human population studies to identify genetic susceptibility loci. These insights in turn help us to identify genes and biological mechanisms that influence why some people develop disease and others do not. My research focuses on understanding biological mechanisms underpinning growth and metabolic disease, reproductive health and biological ageing. I have published over 150 research papers to date and contributed to the discovery of many of the first genetic determinants for a range of complex traits, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility, circulating biomarkers and human behaviour.
I currently hold the established chair of molecular endocrinology at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Metabolic Science, where I am also a Medical Research Council (MRC) Investigator and Programme Leader at the MRC Epidemiology Unit. I am also an affiliated Group Leader at The Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge, as well as being a Fellow and Director of Studies at King’s College, Cambridge. In 2022 I joined Adrestia Therapeutics Ltd as VP of Human Genetics alongside my academic positions, providing guidance on how to integrate human genetics observations into their drug discovery platform.
Prior to moving to Cambridge in 2013, I was a Wellcome Trust funded Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow, holding visiting positions at the University of Exeter Medical School; the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford; the Department of Twin Research at Kings College London and the Center for Statistical Genetics at the University of Michigan. I have undergraduate degrees in Computer Science (BSc) and Bioinformatics (MSc), in addition to a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Exeter (UK).