Liz Young

Senior Staff Scientist


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

Dr Elizabeth Young Liz is a clinical epidemiologist and public health doctor. She undertakes population-based research into the burden and causes of chronic diseases in low- and middle-income countries, to help inform treatment and prevention strategies to improve public health. She is also involved in research that integrates electronic health records and genomics to improve genetic risk prediction, diagnosis and treatment.

I am a clinical epidemiologist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health for Public Health England. I started my career in clinical medicine, qualifying from University College London Medical School before completing postgraduate specialist training in public health medicine. I was a Clinical Career Development Fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge, where I completed my PhD research in the genetic epidemiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Current Research

My main research interest is in assessing the burden and aetiology of chronic infectious and non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries—mainly in Africa but also, more recently, in south-east Asia. In Africa, I lead and collaborate on a number of large-scale public health and genomic epidemiology studies, as well as developing frameworks for prospective case ascertainment of chronic diseases, interventional studies, and clinical trials.

I am also involved in developing a new programme of work which seeks to integrate electronic health records and functional genomics to build innovative study designs with a view to improving genetic risk assessment, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

I combine my research activities with a commitment to public engagement; this includes initiatives to work closely with study participants and their wider community so that our research findings are communicated with greater relevance for individual and collective health and well-being.

Professional Activities

I am a member of the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research, and I continue to actively support its development and commitment to facilitating population-level health research across Africa and to building research capacity among African scientists.

In 2015 I was appointed Associate Editor of Global Health, Epidemiology & Genomics (, an on-line, open-access journal, published by Cambridge University Press, which is committed to publishing cross-disciplinary research that integrates population science, genomics and related technological advances to increase our understanding of human health and disease worldwide.