Professor John Danesh | Faculty

Danesh, John

As an Faculty member Danesh works to further understand cardiometabolic traits through combining cardiovascular epidemiology with genomic research techniques. His research focus is on providing novel insights into the causes and predictors of coronary heart disease.

Danesh’s research has helped to pioneer the use, at scale, of integrative population approaches to provide novel insights into the causes and predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD), demonstrating causal roles for interleukin-6 signalling, IL-1 signalling, and triglyceride-mediated pathways. His work on risk prediction has significantly influenced risk management, and has been cited in no less than 10 major guidelines since 2009. More recently, he has led major initiatives to improve the safety and efficiency of blood donation through strategic collaborations with NHS Blood and Transplant.

Danesh has been a leader and advocate of “team science” in international health research. For example, he created and direct the 2.5 million-participant Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration which elucidates the relevance of cardiovascular risk factors (>100 scientists from >25 countries) and the 520,000-participant pan-European EPIC-CVD consortium which studies the interplay of genetic and lifestyle factors (>60 scientists from 12 countries). He has led the creation of major bioresources that benefit the UK research community (eg, the 50,000-participant INTERVAL study) and the international research community (eg, as co-PI of studies in Bangladesh and Pakistan that have recruited >50,000 participants).

Danesh has helped shape national research strategy through external advisory roles (eg, MRC PSM Board, MRC Global Health Group, Wellcome Trust Genetics Panel, UK Biobank Steering Committee).

Since 2001, Danesh has led the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (University of Cambridge), one of Europe's leading academic population health departments, which has expanded >4-fold during his tenure (currently >400 members). He has helped to create joint appointments and innovative collaborations with strategic partners, including the NHS (eg, NHSBT), industry (eg, Pfizer-Cambridge Cardiovascular Genomics Centre), the not-for-profit sector (eg, RAND-Europe) and the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.


  • Association of Cardiometabolic Multimorbidity With Mortality.

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Di Angelantonio E, Kaptoge S, Wormser D, Willeit P et al.

    JAMA 2015;314;1;52-60

  • Glycated hemoglobin measurement and prediction of cardiovascular disease.

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Di Angelantonio E, Gao P, Khan H, Butterworth AS et al.

    JAMA 2014;311;12;1225-33

  • C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and cardiovascular disease prediction.

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Kaptoge S, Di Angelantonio E, Pennells L, Wood AM et al.

    The New England journal of medicine 2012;367;14;1310-20

  • Interleukin-6 receptor pathways in coronary heart disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 82 studies.

    IL6R Genetics Consortium Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Sarwar N, Butterworth AS, Freitag DF, Gregson J et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2012;379;9822;1205-13

  • Lipid-related markers and cardiovascular disease prediction.

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Di Angelantonio E, Gao P, Pennells L, Kaptoge S et al.

    JAMA 2012;307;23;2499-506

  • Diabetes mellitus, fasting glucose, and risk of cause-specific death.

    Rao Kondapally Seshasai S, Kaptoge S, Thompson A, Di Angelantonio E, Gao P et al.

    The New England journal of medicine 2011;364;9;829-841

  • Separate and combined associations of body-mass index and abdominal adiposity with cardiovascular disease: collaborative analysis of 58 prospective studies.

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Wormser D, Kaptoge S, Di Angelantonio E, Wood AM et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2011;377;9771;1085-95

  • Triglyceride-mediated pathways and coronary disease: collaborative analysis of 101 studies.

    Triglyceride Coronary Disease Genetics Consortium and Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Sarwar N, Sandhu MS, Ricketts SL, Butterworth AS et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2010;375;9726;1634-9

  • Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2) and risk of coronary disease, stroke, and mortality: collaborative analysis of 32 prospective studies.

    Lp-PLA(2) Studies Collaboration, Thompson A, Gao P, Orfei L, Watson S et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 2010;375;9725;1536-44

  • C-reactive protein and other circulating markers of inflammation in the prediction of coronary heart disease.

    Danesh J, Wheeler JG, Hirschfield GM, Eda S, Eiriksdottir G et al.

    The New England journal of medicine 2004;350;14;1387-97

  • PhenoScanner V2: an expanded tool for searching human genotype-phenotype associations.

    Kamat MA, Blackshaw JA, Young R, Surendran P, Burgess S et al.

    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2019

  • Genetic Risk Score for Coronary Disease Identifies Predispositions to Cardiovascular and Noncardiovascular Diseases.

    Ntalla I, Kanoni S, Zeng L, Giannakopoulou O, Danesh J et al.

    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2019;73;23;2932-2942

  • Genetically modulated educational attainment and coronary disease risk.

    Zeng L, Ntalla I, Kessler T, Kastrati A, Erdmann J et al.

    European heart journal 2019

  • Rare Protein-Truncating Variants in APOB, Lower Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol, and Protection Against Coronary Heart Disease.

    Peloso GM, Nomura A, Khera AV, Chaffin M, Won HH et al.

    Circulation. Genomic and precision medicine 2019;12;5;e002376

  • Assessing the causal association of glycine with risk of cardio-metabolic diseases.

    Wittemans LBL, Lotta LA, Oliver-Williams C, Stewart ID, Surendran P et al.

    Nature communications 2019;10;1;1060

  • New genetic signals for lung function highlight pathways and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associations across multiple ancestries.

    Shrine N, Guyatt AL, Erzurumluoglu AM, Jackson VE, Hobbs BD et al.

    Nature genetics 2019;51;3;481-493

  • Protein-coding variants implicate novel genes related to lipid homeostasis contributing to body-fat distribution.

    Justice AE, Karaderi T, Highland HM, Young KL, Graff M et al.

    Nature genetics 2019;51;3;452-469

  • Interleukin-6 Receptor Signaling and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Growth Rates.

    Paige E, Clément M, Lareyre F, Sweeting M, Raffort J et al.

    Circulation. Genomic and precision medicine 2019;12;2;e002413

  • Genetic effects on promoter usage are highly context-specific and contribute to complex traits.

    Alasoo K, Rodrigues J, Danesh J, Freitag DF, Paul DS and Gaffney DJ

    eLife 2019;8

  • Meta-analysis of up to 622,409 individuals identifies 40 novel smoking behaviour associated genetic loci.

    Erzurumluoglu AM, Liu M, Jackson VE, Barnes DR, Datta G et al.

    Molecular psychiatry 2019

  • DNA Sequence Variation in ACVR1C Encoding the Activin Receptor-Like Kinase 7 Influences Body Fat Distribution and Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes.

    Emdin CA, Khera AV, Aragam K, Haas M, Chaffin M et al.

    Diabetes 2019;68;1;226-234

  • Association of plasma vitamin D metabolites with incident type 2 diabetes: EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study.

    Zheng JS, Imamura F, Sharp SJ, van der Schouw YT, Sluijs I et al.

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2018

  • Genomic atlas of the human plasma proteome.

    Sun BB, Maranville JC, Peters JE, Stacey D, Staley JR et al.

    Nature 2018;558;7708;73-79

Danesh, John
John's Timeline

Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences


Associate Faculty Member, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

NIHR Senior Investigator


British Heart Foundation Professorship


European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award


Honorary Consultant, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, London


Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London


Director, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge


Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, University of Cambridge Head, Department of Public Health and Primary Care