Human Genome Epidemiology Network, or HuGENet, is a global collaboration of individuals and organizations committed to the assessment of the impact of human genome variation on population health and how genetic information can be used to improve health and prevent disease.
In May 2009, the funding from the PHG Foundation to the UK HuGENet Coordinating Centre (UKHCC) expired. The Coordinating Centre is now hosted by the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Public Health & Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, which is also based at Strangeways Research Laboratory. The Coordinating Centre is now directed by Professor John Danesh (Head of the Department) and Dr Adam Butterworth (Research Associate). The Centre maintains its links to the MRC Biostatistics Unit through Dr Julian Higgins and the PHG Foundation through Dr Gurdeep Sagoo, who will both continue to be involved in UK HuGENet activities. The UK Coordinating Centre supplements the main US HuGENet base at the National Office of Public Health Genomics (CDC, Atlanta) and the Greek and Dutch Coordinating Centres.
The work conducted at CEU is predominantly concerned with identifying and evaluating risk factors that will improve prediction and prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). Most of the activities of the UKHCC will likely relate to CHD, whether applied or methodological. One example of a HuGENet activity that the UKHCC is leading is the development of a field synopsis for CHD, following the ‘road map’ laid out by HuGENet in 2006. Funding is also being sought to create a database of CHD genetics similar to the pioneering example of AlzGene for Alzheimer’s disease.