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.

Research Groups

Related Diseases


Team Leaders

  • Professor Bruce Taylor (Principal Research Fellow)
  • Professor Tania Winzenberg (Senior Research Fellow)

Team Members

  • Dr Jac Charlesworth (Research Fellow)
  • Rui Lin (PhD Student)