Professor Albert Tenesa’s research group is investigating how our genes make some of us more susceptible to certain diseases, such as cancer, than others. In the long term this research could be used to predict what diseases individuals are prone to and what age they are likely to develop them. With this information, better drugs and preventative treatments could be developed. To investigate this, Albert’s group takes samples from a large number of patients and people without disease (i.e. controls). The genomes of these groups are then studied. If proportionally more patients than controls are carrying a certain genetic variation, it is thought to be increasing their risk of getting the disease. These genetic risk factors are combined with environmental risk factors (e.g. smoking, exercise) to form an idea of what makes people prone to disease.
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