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The China Kadoorie Biobank Study (CKB, of over 0.5 million adults includes extensive questionnaire-based health and lifestyle data; detailed physical measurements at baseline; and prospective follow-up for incident events from disease registries and health insurance data. Blood biomarkers and NMR metabolomics have been measured in 20,000 and 5,000 individuals respectively. A resurvey of 25,000 individuals included additional measurements such as electrocardiogram, blood lipids and urine markers.

The cohort is currently undergoing genome-wide genotyping (>100,000 individuals by end of 2016). Imputation of >10 million variants will be complete in early 2017.


Dr Robin Walters will supervise any projects which arise from this brief.  Any such projects will have a second supervisor, examples are listed below.

Research Experience, Research Methods and Training

A wide range of genetics and genomics projects are available, all of which will include: genome-wide association analysis of relevant traits; experience in all stages of data QC and association analysis; meta-analysis of association data within CKB and/or in combination with data from other studies; potential for involvement in international collaborations and/or consortia.

Examples of available projects include:

  • Genome-wide association analysis of metabolomics data (with Dr Michael Holmes)

Identification of genetic variants associated with changes in metabolism. Construction of genetic risk scores for different metabolic traits, and investigation of their associations with risk of disease. Bioinformatic analysis of identified variants and/or metabolites.

Identification of genetic variants associated in Chinese populations with e.g. height, BMI, waist circumference. Inter-ancestry comparisons of patterns of association and trans-ethnic meta-analysis. Fine mapping of causal variants.

  • Genome-wide association analysis of stroke and stroke subtypes (with Dr Iona Millwood)

Identification of genetic variants associated with risk of stroke and stroke subtypes. Pathway analysis to identify physiological and cellular processes important for disease risk/protection. Mendelian randomisation analysis of causal role of e.g. BMI and blood pressure in stroke risk.

Field Work, Secondments, Industry Placements and Training

In-house training in epidemiology and in statistical and computational genetics. Attendance at relevant courses including the Wellcome Trust course “Design and Analysis of Genetic-based Association Studies”.

Prospective Candidate

A good background in genetics, statistics and/or computational biology, with an interest in the causes of human disease.

Our team


Related research themes