Gene Environment Interactions in Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a complex disease where gene-environment interactions are considered a part of susceptibility of MS. To date, Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) have identified about 60 loci associated with MS. Among the environmental factors as associated with MS risk, low ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure and low vitamin D levels are among the strongest one and most consistent. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated the association between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of MS or MS course progression, additionally the patients with IFNbeta-use were observed with significant higher vitamin D levels than persons without.
The project tasks are: 1) detecting if genetic variants modulate the relationship between vitamin D and MS course; 2) detecting if genetic variants modulate the relationship between IFNbeta-use and vitamin D levels.
These analyses will combined-use epidemiological and genetic methodologies. Once potential variants have been identified, bioinformatics and systems biology approaches will be further used to determine which variants are likely to contribute to disease.
- Professor Bruce Taylor (Principal Research Fellow)
- Professor Tania Winzenberg (Senior Research Fellow)
- Dr Jac Charlesworth (Research Fellow)
- Rui Lin (PhD Student)