Sandhu Group

Global Health and Populations

Archive Page

This page is maintained as a historical record and is no longer being updated.

The Sandhu research group left the Wellcome Sanger Institute in 2019 and is currently based at the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge ( This page is being maintained as historical record of the team’s research at the Sanger Institute and is no longer being updated.

At the Sanger Institute, our research focused on global health and populations, assessing human diversity and its impact on the burden and aetiology of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Our approach integrated principles and procedures underlying epidemiology, genomics and public health.

We have a strong interest in exploring epidemiological transitions in low and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. We use genome-wide genotyping and sequencing technologies to understand human genetic diversity and population history, as well as the biological mechanisms underlying the development of complex diseases and traits among those populations.

Global Human Diversity

We are engaged in a programme of studies assessing cultural and genetic diversity and disease patterns among worldwide indigenous populations to provide further insight into human history and increase our understanding of the environmental, physical and biological adaptations that characterise disease susceptibility.

Understanding the genetic determinants of complex human traits and diseases can lead to novel insights into disease aetiology, which may identify new therapeutic targets, and the potential for better disease prognosis and management.

This work builds on our existing research programmes, and those of our collaborating partners, which include the identification of novel genetic signals for cardiometabolic traits in populations from sub-Saharan Africa including those that are specific to the African continent; the development of the largest study of indigenous populations across sub-Saharan Africa; and population scale sequencing of human populations across South East Asia and Oceania.

Individual Projects

For more information about specific projects within our programme of research activities please refer to the individual profile pages of our group members.

Further information

Enquiries about the group, its research and training opportunities should be sent by email to Paris Litterick (

Core team

Photo of Federico Abascal

Federico Abascal

Staff Scientist

Photo of Mr Martin O. Pollard

Mr Martin O. Pollard

Technical Innovator

Previous team members

Photo of Sophie Allcock

Sophie Allcock

PhD Student

Photo of Louise Barr

Louise Barr

PhD Student

Photo of Tommy Carstensen

Tommy Carstensen

Senior Bioinformatician

Photo of Kenneth Ekoru

Kenneth Ekoru

PhD Student

Photo of Francesc Galban Horcajo

Francesc Galban Horcajo

Programme Manager

Photo of Deepti Gurdasani

Deepti Gurdasani

Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo of Thomas R Hird

Thomas R Hird

PhD Student

Photo of George Mgomella

George Mgomella

PhD Student

Photo of Cristina Pomilla

Cristina Pomilla

Scientific Manager

Photo of Jenny Thornton

Jenny Thornton

APCDR Programme Manager

Photo of Kevin Wing

Kevin Wing

Research Fellow

Photo of Liz Young

Liz Young

Senior Staff Scientist



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