This page is maintained as a historical record and is no longer being updated.
Jeff Barrett left the Sanger Institute in 2018 to become Chief Scientific Officer for Genomics Plc. This page is being maintained as historical record of the research group’s work at the Sanger Institute and is no longer being updated.
The Barrett team studied how genetic variation affects risk for diseases, and finds ways to apply that knowledge to improve health care. We analyzed genome-wide association studies and next-generation sequence data collected on thousands of individuals, and developed statistical and computational methods for these analyses.
For most common human diseases it is impossible to predict with certainty whether any particular person will become sick, or even to explain the causes of an illness after it has occurred. A person’s total risk for common, complex diseases such as heart disease is a combination of their unique genetic make-up and their environment and behaviour. The challenge of human disease genetics is to translate genetic experiments into an understanding of the underlying biology of human disease.
We were involved in a number of first generation genome-wide association studies (GWAS), including the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC). Because the number of samples involved in GWAS is directly linked to the power to detect weak association signals we have led meta-analyses of multiple GWAS in type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
While the discovery of so many associations to common human disease has generated a great deal of excitement, we still face the critical challenge of translating that information into a deeper understanding of biology. We worked both on methods to find causal mutations in associated regions (which are usually implicated by a nearby variant in linkage disequilibrium) as well as collaborative work within the Institute to understand what happens to experimental organisms when the newly discovered loci are disrupted.
Previous team members
Human Genetics Administration
The Human Genetics Administration comprises a five strong team that provides comprehensive support for the smooth running of the Human Genetics ...
Genomic mutation and genetic disease
The Hurles group studies the genetic causes and mechanisms of rare genetic disorders and how DNA mutates as it is pass ...
Medical and population genomics
We analyse large-scale genetic and electronic health record data to explore fine-scale population structure, its impact on disease risk, and the ...
Programmes and Facilities
The Human Genetics Programme is driving a step-change in our understanding of genetic causes and biological mechanisms of disease susceptibility and ...
We work with the following groups
A public-private initiative to generate evidence on the validity of therapeutic targets based on genome-scale experiments and analysis. Open Targets is working to create an R&D framework that applies to a wide range of human diseases, and is committed to sharing its data openly with the scientific community.
International IBD Genetics Consortium
A world-wide collaboration between clinicians and geneticists to understand the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease. The IIBDGC are our key partners in the success of GWAS approaches in IBD.