Epidemiology and Public Health Supervisors
Theme Leader: Professor Paul Elliott
Dietary factors and application of metabonomics to blood pressure and obesity
Unfavourable dietary patterns underlie epidemic levels of adverse blood pressure and obesity, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and, in the case of obesity, many cancers. Metabonomics – the study of multiparametric metabolic data in relation to environmental (including dietary), gut microbial and genetic influences – provides an opportunity to shed light on the complex metabolic pathways involved in the aetiology of adverse blood pressure and obesity, by measuring differences in patterns of metabolite excretion associated with blood pressure and body mass among individuals. Typically, metabonomic analyses are done on biofluids (commonly urine or blood) by a combination of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. By combining global multiparametric “metabolome wide” analyses with targeted, quantitative methods, individual metabolites can be measured and related to blood pressure and obesity, enhancing our understanding of the way dietary factors influence disease risk and potentially leading to new therapeutic targets.
Further information: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/p.elliott/
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3328
Further Information: http://www1.ic.ac.uk/medicine/people/deborah.ashby/
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 8704
Infectious disease outbreak analysis and modelling
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3296
Genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic traits
Primary care epidemiology and health service performance
My research interests are in chronic disease management, particularly diabetes & cardiovascular disorders; health policy and the organisation and delivery of health care; and the use of new technology to improve health care. My department collaborates with primary care trusts, the Department of Health, public health observatories, the Office for National Statistics on public health and primary care related research. We also have a range of international research projects in both developed and developing countries. We offer excellent research training opportunities through our in-house training programme, and our Master of Public Health programme and MSc in Modern Epidemiology.
Further information: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/about/divisions/ephpc/pcsm/
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3368
Insulin resistance and cancers of the breast, prostate and colorectum
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 1913
Biomarkers and risk of cancers of the bladder, lung and lymphomas
We are conducting a number of epidemiological investigations that address the risk of cancer in large populations in relation to environmental exposures (e.g. tobacco smoking, occupational exposures, dietary habits) and to genetic susceptibility. The latter is investigated both with studies on candidate genes and their role in modulating the risk of environmental carcinogens, and with genome-wide studies (e.g. Kiemeney et al, Nature Genetics 2008 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print]; Hung et al, Nature 2008; Apr 3;452 (7187): 633-7).
Also, there is a growing interest in the measurement of intermediate markers through the development of omics technologies and their application to population-based studies. The term ‘omics' refers to the study of a complete set of biological molecules with high-throughput techniques. We are conducting studies on metabonomics, proteomics and epigenomics in relation to different types of cancer, in particular of the lung and bladder and lymphomas, and different types of environmental exposures (metals, PCB, polycyclic hydrocarbons). The purpose is to understand the complex relationships between external exposures, intermediate metabolic or molecular changes, genetic susceptibility, and the risk of cancer. The candidate will have the possibility of participating in cutting edge research in the field of environmental cancer, with important implications both at the scientific and the societal level.
Further information: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/p.vineis/
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3372
Intra uterine programming ("The Barker Hypothesis") & CV Risk factors using a twin-based model
The concept of intra-uterine programming causing adverse cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and outcomes is usually called the Barker Hypothesis. Critics have claimed among other things that observed associations between low birth weight and adverse CV risk factor levels and outcomes is the result of confounding by maternal variables (eg: smoking, SES, propensity to hypertension, etc). Using within twin-4 mm-pair comparisons many of these criticisms cannot apply and hence the model is an excellent one for investigating the validity or otherwise of the Barker Hypothesis. The large St Thomas Twin Cohort includes data on several CV risk factors and recalled birth weight and hence provides an almost unique opportunity to investigate intra-uterine programming using a twin-based model.
Further information: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/n.poulter/
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3446
Risk assessment and burden of disease analysis in Global Health
Our research focuses on exposure to, and health effects of, environmental, behavioural, nutritional, and metabolic risk factors and their interventions at the population level. The research activities routinely combine concepts, data, and methods from a range of health, quantitative, and environmental sciences. We collect and analyze primary field data on environmental risk factors (primarily air pollution). We also develop and apply analytical models to combinations of primary and secondary data to estimate the population level health effects of risk factor exposures and interventions, globally and in specific countries. These analyses, known as Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA), are widely used to inform priority setting by national and international agencies. Recent work has focused on trends and burden of disease for cardio-metabolic risks, air pollution and other environmental risks, smoking and burden of disease, and child and maternal undernutrition.
Further information: www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/GEH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 0767