Dr Miles Parkes is a consultant gastroenterologist in Cambridge and has a research interest in the genetics of the Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), and clinical translation of advances.
Miles’s basic training in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) genetics occurred in Oxford at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics where he undertook a 3.5 year MRC research training fellowship supervised by John Bell and Derek Jewell. He moved to Cambridge in 2001 and established the East of England IBD genetics research programme, and subsequently in 2005 the UK IBD genetics consortium which he has chaired since. Miles was a co-PI for the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium. These collaborations led to seminal early GWAS studies in Crohn’s disease (WTCCC, Nature 2007; Parkes et al, Nature Genetics 2007) and ulcerative colitis (Barrett et al, Nature Genetics 2009).
In 2007, with other group leaders from the UK, North America and Europe, Miles founded the international IBD genetics consortium and chaired this group for its first 3 years. During this period, it published 3 reports in Nature Genetics (Barrett et al, 2008; Franke et al, 2010 and Anderson et al, 2011) and laid the groundwork for the Immunochip study in which it has genotyped >40,000 patients with IBD internationally and identified 163 independent genome-wide significant loci in IBD (Jostins et al, Nature 2012).
Collaborating with Ken Smith, Miles has been involved in the development of a biomarker of IBD prognosis based on gene expression profiling in CD8+ T cells (Lee et al, JCI 2011). The genetic variants underlying the signature have been functionally interrogated (Lee et al, Cell 2015). This has been developed for a biomarker-stratified drug trial of anti-TNF therapy in early Crohn’s disease funded by the Wellcome Trust. Miles is national Chief Investigator for this study.
Miles is a PI for the national IBD Bioresource, funded by the MRC and NIHR. Since 2016 >28,000 patients with IBD have been recruited UK-wide. They can be recalled by phenotype or genotype for downstream scientific or experimental medicine studies. The recent award by HDR-UK and UKRI for a digital research hub will align routinely collected healthcare data to the IBD Bioresource, and to make the whole available to the research community.