Social Genetic & Environmental Determinants of Disease

The unequal burden of disease in our local North West London population is strongly linked to social and environmental factors. Despite being among the wealthiest boroughs in London, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster both have a high proportion of families living in poverty, Hammersmith and Fulham are in the worst quartile in England for preventable deaths from respiratory conditions. Local health and social care services have identified improved prevention and early diagnosis as a key priority, along with adolescent and child health, particularly childhood obesity (30% are year 6 children in some areas), air pollution and poor mental health.

This Theme integrates social, environmental and genomic data from our extensive discovery science in established research cohorts to identify disease mechanisms and inform targets for novel interventions. This integrated approach will improve strategies for prevention, early diagnosis and precision medicine for the management of diseases. Across the work in this Theme, two key long-term challenges will be addressed- i) the lack of diversity and inclusion in research participation and related inequality in health benefits from translational research and ii) the limited capacity in health data science and analytics, and in researchers, clinical staff and patients with the ability and confidence to fully integrate social genetic and environmental factors into precision medicine.

Key Individuals
  • Dr Claire Shovlin
    Dr Claire Shovlin
    Theme Lead, SGE & Reader in Clinical and Molecular Medicine
  • Professor Helen Ward
    Professor Helen Ward
    Theme Lead, SGE, Professor of Public Health and Director, PERC
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