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£23m to drive advances in population health sciences research
Date:11/21/2013

The University of Bristol is to benefit from 23 million of research funding that will exploit the latest advances in technology and develop new analysis methods to improve understanding of how our family background, behaviours and genes work together to affect how we develop and remain healthy or become ill. The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol (IEU), jointly funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Bristol, is officially opened today [21 Nov].

The MRC IEU will conduct some of the UK's most advanced population health science research to help improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms and environmental factors that can underlie and trigger common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, asthma and conditions linked to obesity and addiction. Findings will be used to develop and test new interventions to prevent future disease.

Led by Professor George Davey Smith, the Unit will develop novel approaches to generate and analyse data from cutting-edge 'omics' technologies. These technologies will enable the researchers to build a more detailed picture of health and disease; incorporating genetics with information about which genes are switched on an off, and a profile of the compounds in body tissues at specific times. A major focus is developing new methods for being able to confidently identify the true causes of disease.

Marcus Munaf, Professor of Biological Psychology and one of the Unit's programme leads, will be examining how lifestyle, including behaviours such as smoking and drinking, are major contributors to ill health and premature death. His latest research will seek to understand why people engage in unhealthy lifestyles, and what the consequences are, in order to develop better interventions to modify unhealthy behaviours.

Debbie Lawlor, Professor of Epidemiology and another of the Unit's programme leads, will be carrying out researc
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Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-011-792-88086
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

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