Genetic architecture of obesity related phenotypes across generations

Project Code: 10381712

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dr Justin O'Sullivan

Principal investigator: Professor Melissa Wake (mwak005)

Application open date: 06 Jun 2017

Application deadline: 15 Dec 2017

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


The cumulative role of genetic variants on parameters of obesity phenotypes (e.g. BMI, adiposity, lipid profile and growth) has not been fully explored, particularly across different stages of the life course (childhood to adulthood). 

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

This project is available to students able to attract funding stipends, e.g. via university or international scholarships.

**Please include undergraduate and any postgraduate transcripts with your application.**


Aim: This PhD will dissect the role of genetic variation in shaping growth and anthropometry.

Description: We are generating a unique multigenerational set of genotypic data from over 1500 parents and their children as part of the Growing Up in Australia study with which to dissect the genetic architecture of obesity-related phenotypes in both generations. This will be done using a four-dimensional network analysis approach (developed at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland) to the unique biospecimens and paired cross-generational phenotypic data of Growing Up in Australia’s Child Health CheckPoint study. This network approach will maximise the utility of genomic data to predict risk and effective targeting of interventions to reduce obesity-related disease in children and adults, thereby providing opportunities to shape our social, health, and therapeutic strategies.

The PhD candidate will be contributing to the data derivation and management of the relevant CheckPoint and LSAC datasets, in collaboration with the study team, and conducting quantitative analyses of the study data to address the study objectives.

Other information

This project can be undertaken by a student based at the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland, New Zealand) or the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (University of Melbourne, Australia).

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