East London Genes & Health: human knockouts in a population genomic medicine cohort of British-South Asians


  • Prof David van Heel

    Queen Mary University of London

  • Dr Matthew Hurles

    Wellcome Sanger Institute

  • Prof Richard Trembath

    King's College London

  • Dr Daniel MacArthur

    Broad Institute

  • Prof John Wright

    Bradford Institute for Health Research

  • Prof Christopher Griffiths

    Queen Mary University of London

  • Prof Mark McCarthy

    University of Oxford

  • Dr Hilary Martin

    Wellcome Sanger Institute

Project summary

East London Genes & Health is a long-term research programme concerning the health of British-South Asian adults. This group can have high rates of poor health, especially diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental health; high rates of related parents, leading to naturally occurring ‘human knockouts’ and inactivated genes; and excellent electronic health record data.

We wish to expand on recruitment in East London and set up a new programme in Bradford, which will reach 100,000 volunteers. We will analyse the genes of all volunteers to look for known genetic variants and sequence the genes of those with related parents to find rare coding variations in their genes. 

This information will allow us to investigate human knockout genes including how they affect populations, biological systems and networks. We will establish a worldwide database of health data and create a better understanding of autosomal recessive disease.