BMI -> Health Research Group

A) We study the effects of increased adiposity on human health

Increased adiposity has clear observational associations with health including all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, type-2-diabetes and cancer. Major gaps exist in understanding the mechanisms that may underlie these relationships. We use cross-disciplinary approaches - from wet lab, dry lab, cohort studies, trials and a variety of -omics techniques - to explore these relationships and to identify potential therapeutic targets. This research aims to flag causal targets for further investigation and identify potential pathological processes.

-- Our primary research questions are:

  1. How does variation in adiposity influence health outcomes?
  2. How do adiposity related diseases or conditions (like T2D) influence cancer outcomes?
  3. How might (or might not) measurable biological intermediaries (including the gut microbiome) play a role in adiposity effects in major disease areas such as metabolic disease, cancer, inflammatory conditions, immune response?

B) We also study the interaction between environment, lifestyle, and health.

Air and noise pollution and the built (human-made) environment are just a few environmental exposures, alongside lifestyle, diet, education and many more that may influence health and disease. As members of the LongITOOLS project we are studying the interactions between the environment, lifestyle and health in determining the risks of chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. See more information here.

-- Our primary research questions are:

  1. How do environmental determinants influence growth and adiposity trajectories?
  2. How do environmental exposures influence metabolic and cardiovascular health trajectories?
  3. What are the molecular signatures of air, noise and built environment in children, adolescents and adults?

We are based at the University of Bristol's School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Bristol Medical School. We also oversee and work closely with the Avon Longitudunal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort while also maintaing a close association with the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC-IEU).

Dr. Emma Vincent co-leads the The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research "Integrating Health Research: Mechanisms to Populations" strand. The strand provides a formal structure for promoting and facilitating interdisciplinary research between fundamental bioscience and population health science. Are you interested in or need help in conecting with researchers in other departments? Do look for more information here.

Our computational work would be impossible without the Advanced Computing Research Centre.

We are supported by: