Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme in Genomic Epidemiology and Public Health Genomics


Programme leadership team

Martin Tobin headshotMartin Tobin

Programme Director and Theme 2 Lead

As the first person in my family to go to university, I found Leicester Medical School to be a diverse, welcoming and caring environment. After 10 years of clinical work in different parts of the world, I rejoined the University of Leicester, where I was supported in my PhD in Genetic Epidemiology and in early, midcareer and senior Medical Research Council Fellowships before receiving a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. I love living in Leicester, which has a vibrant multi-ethnic community surrounded by beautiful, uncrowded countryside. At weekends, I make the most of the picturesque cycle routes on quiet roads, the scenic bridleways on a cyclocross bike, or peaceful family walks. All seem to involve coffee and cake at some point! I am passionate about training and career development – I serve on national career development funding panels and I am delighted to lead a research group that has facilitated the successful careers of many current staff and alumni.

Tracey ElliottTracey Elliott headshot

Theme 4 Lead 

I joined the School of Law in 2010. After graduating from Birmingham University, I was called to the Bar and practised from 4 Paper Buildings and 9-12 Bell Yard, specialising in criminal litigation and advisory work and acting for both prosecution and defence. I remain a (non-practising) door tenant at 9-12 Bell Yard. I have worked as a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and as a visiting lecturer/teacher at City University, the University of Surrey, King’s College, London and the LSE. I have lectured to the legal and medical professions and assisted with advocacy training at Gray’s Inn. I have also worked in Poland, lecturing to Polish judges, prosecutors and Ministry of Justice officials on the UK legal system. My PhD thesis examined the development and use of the justification of necessity in medical law. My current research projects relate to the treatment and care of  vulnerable adults and those who lack capacity.

Frank Dudbridge headshotFrank Dudbridge

Deputy Programme Director and Theme 3 Lead

I attended a comprehensive school and did my first degree in maths. My PhD led to many great opportunities, including the chance to work in the USA and Italy, to switch from engineering to medicine, and to interact with clinical, industrial and academic collaborators. I’ve worked at several universities and found Leicester to be the most friendly and progressive. I mainly work on statistical analysis of genetic studies, with interests in cancer, mental illness, and heart and lung diseases. For several years I have actively supported PhD students by organising networking events, generating travel funds and serving on selection panels for fellowships. When time allows I run marathons and play jazz piano.

Louise Wain headshotLouise Wain

Theme 1 Lead

I joined the University of Leicester as a postdoctoral researcher in 2007 to conduct research into the genetic determinants of human health and disease. Since then, I have progressed to Lecturer and Associate Professor and I was awarded my Professorship in 2017. Looking back, it was the support that I received from my line managers, peers and the University that continues to inspire me to ‘pay it back’ and encourage the next generations of PhD students and early career researchers to pursue and achieve their career aspirations. In my spare time, I can usually be found enjoying the Derbyshire countryside with my horses, or out walking with my husband and our two rescue greyhounds.

Sarah Robinson headshotSarah Robinson

Programme Coordinator

Having moved to this role in February 2020, I manage all administrative aspects of the Programme, both for prospective and current students. I have worked at the University of Leicester since 2011 (I even met my husband here!), I have an MA in the History of Medicine and I when I’m not at work, I can usually be found spending time with my family or incessantly reorganising my house.

Cohort 1, 2020 - 2024

Adonyo Adonyo

Project: Individual and combined effects of genomic variation and environment on lung function and COPD in African populations

Supervisor: Martin Tobin (Population Health Sciences)

Jasmine Blow

Project: Must the relatives be told? Legal and ethical issues in relation to the non-disclosure of genetic information by healthcare professionals to relatives

Supervisor: Tracey Elliott (Law)

Daniel Chin

Project: The genetic epidemiology of lung scarring 

Supervisor: Louise Wain (Population Health Sciences)

Harkeran Jandu

Project: Understanding the genetic basis of radiotherapy toxicity 

Supervisor: Chris Talbot (Genetics and Genome Biology)

Holly Large

Project: Representations of genomics and personalised medicine in UK broadcast media 

Supervisor: Vincent Campbell (Media, Communication and Sociology)

John Oketch

Project: Assess the contribution of common and rare short tandem repeats (STRs) to the risk of developing IPF  

Supervisor: Ed Hollox (Genetics and Genome Biology)

Katie Saxby

Project: Utilising genomic data to improve AAA risk prediction models and investigate AAA growth 

Supervisor: Chris Nelson (Cardiovascular Sciences)

Cohort 2, 2021 - 2025

Micaela Eisenberg

Project: Investigating the impact of multiallelic copy number variation on disease-relevant traits in UK and African populations 

Supervisor: Ed Hollox (Genetics and Genome Biology)

Charlotte Fawcett

1+4 route

Project: The genetic contribution of biological age differences in disease risk

Supervisor: Chris Nelson (Cardiovascular Sciences)

Mercy Kimani

Project: Genome association studies to detect genetic determinants of virulence traits of invasive meningococcal disease isolates with age stratification 

Supervisor: Chris Bayliss (Genetics and Genome Biology)

Tali Mead

Project: Utilising under-studied electronic healthcare record phenotypes in genome-wide association studies 

Supervisor: Martin Tobin (Population Health Sciences)

Gina Parcesepe

Project: Correlated traits analyses to enhance drug target discovery

Supervisor: Louise Wain (Population Health Sciences)

Noemi-Nicole Piga

Project: Fine mapping asthma-susceptibility loci to identify putative targets for drug development  

Supervisor: Katherine Fawcett (Population Health Sciences)

Kathryn Sandilands

Project: The ethical and legal implications of direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Supervisor: Tracey Elliott (Law)

Ruby Woodward

Project: Matching the right medicine(s) to the right patient: quantitative prediction of single- or dual therapies using genetics and proteomics 

Supervisor: Frank Dudbridge (Population Health Sciences)

Cohort 3, 2022 - 2026

Jessamy Ahmed

Project: Uncovering the genomic landscape of head and neck cancer in the underserved South Asian population

Supervisor: David Guttery (Genetics and Genome Biology)

Callum Hunt

Project: Unravelling the genetic basis of normal and abnormal retinal development 

Supervisor: Mervyn Thomas (Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour)

Pimpika Kaewsri

Project: Genetic and environmental factors conferring susceptibility to adverse respiratory impacts of air pollution 

Supervisor: Anna Hansell (Population Health Sciences)

Ritah Nabunje

Project: Investigating the genetics of progressive pulmonary fibrosis in multi-ancestry populations 

Supervisor: Richard Allen (Population Health Sciences)

Matthew Saward

Project: Using genetic data to identify and characterise subtypes of asthma to inform drug development and precision medicine 

Supervisor: Katherine Fawcett (Population Health Sciences)

Olivia Stephens

Project: Non-invasive prenatal testing in fetal anomaly screening: issues of informed choice and reproductive autonomy 

Supervisor: Natalie Armstrong (Population Health Sciences)

Brenda Udosen

Project: Predicting disease risk in African populations 

Supervisor: Frank Dudbridge (Population Health Sciences)

Lorna Wheaton

Project: Bayesian multi-parameter evidence synthesis for biomarker driven HTA decision making 

Supervisor: Sylwia Bujkiewicz (Population Health Sciences)

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