Dr Michael Weedon
Endocrinology and Metabolism
University of Exeter Medical School
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A skills development fellow would take an idea for a project which needs a specific set of skills that they have only limited experience of and use the fellowship to both develop these skills and progress the project such that at the end of the fellowship they are seen as a rising star in the field and with an excellent chance of funding their progression as an academic.
An example project would be the development of novel ways to pick out patterns of sleep and circadian timing from activity monitor data and how they relate to diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. We have already done some initial work in this area, and collaborate with some of the leading experts, but it is a very hard problem and can be tackled in many different ways. The fellow could develop skills in, for example, machine learning to develop a new approach to calling sleep patterns. The fellow would initially build on the knowledge and experience of our team and our extensive set of collaborators, find out what has been tried and what still needs to be tested and develop the mathematical skills and techniques to test the new methods. I would see the fellow having experience in genetics and/or sleep biology with a background in maths, but with the need to develop specific skills in a particular specialised area.
- 1999-2000 Research Assistant, University of Cincinnati Medical Centre, Ohio
- 2002-2005 Research Assistant, Peninsula Medical School
- 2005-2009 Vandervell Foundation Research Fellow, Peninsula Medical School
- 2009-2013 Lecturer in Bioinformatics, University of Exeter Medical School
- 2013-2015 Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics, University of Exeter Medical School
- 2015- Associate Professor in Bioinformatics and Statistics (April 2015), University of Exeter Medical School
My research interests revolve around using genetics to understand the biology of diabetes and related traits such as obesity and sleep patterns. I work with a range of techniques including, for example, next generation sequencing, genome-wide association studies, epidemiology, Mendelian Randomisation to identify the genetic variants that cause diabetes or related traits.
- Heterozygous RFX6 protein truncating variants cause Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) with reduced penetrance. Kashyap A Patel, Markku Laakso, Alena Stancakova, Thomas W Laver, Kevin Colclough, Matthew B Johnson, Jarno Kettunen, Tiinamaija Tuomi, Miriam Cnop, Maggie H Shepherd, Sarah E Flanagan, Sian Ellard, Andrew T Hattersley, Michael N Weedon. Nature Communications. 2017
- Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Wood AR, Beaumont RN, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, Hu Y, Teder-Laving M, Hayward C, Roenneberg T, Wilson JF, Del Greco F, Hicks AA, Shin C, Yun CH, Lee SK, Metspalu A, Byrne EM, Gehrman PR, Tiemeier H, Allebrandt KV, Freathy RM, Murray A, Hinds DA, Frayling TM, Weedon MN. Genome-wide association analyses in 128,266 individuals identifies new morningness and sleep duration loci. PLoS Genetics, 2016
- A Type 1 Diabetes Genetic Risk Score Can Aid Discrimination Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Young Adults. Oram RA, Patel K, Hill A, Shields B, McDonald TJ, Jones A, Hattersley AT, Weedon MN. Diabetes Care. Nov 2015
Ongoing Projects & Grants
- Weedon (PI) 2017-2019 MRC grant: The genetics of sleep patterns and their relationship to obesity and Type 2 diabetes
- Weedon (PI) 2015-2018 Diabetes UK grant: Developing a Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score to get the right diagnosis and the right treatment for patients with diabetes
- Weedon (PI) 2014-17 MRC grant: Identifying non-coding mutations causing MODY
I work widely with lots of different groups across the world. In my complex trait genetics work, these include the GIANT consortium and other genome-wide association study consortiums where >100 studies and >300 research scientists are involved. More recently I have set up collaborations with leading experts in sleep analyses from Harvard, the University of Manchester, University of Philadelphia and the Netherlands eScience centre to progress our work on sleep patterns and links with obesity and type 2 diabetes. This work now also includes a collaboration with 23andMe. In monogenic diabetes I have extensive collaborations with experts from several European and US collaborators. And in our Type 1 diabetes genetic risk score project we are working with Collaborators in Washington and India.
Research Group Connections