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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Helen R Warren

Helen R

Senior Lecturer in Statistical Genetics

Centre: Clinical Pharmacology

Email: h.r.warren@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0) 20 7882 2120

Profile

Dr Helen Warren is a Senior Lecturer in Statistical Genetics within the Centre for Clinical Pharmacology and Precision Medicine at the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London.

After receiving a 1st Class Honours BSc degree in Mathematics with Statistics at Royal Holloway University of London in 2007, and then her PhD in Statistics from the University of Surrey, she joined the field of Genetic Epidemiology. During her first PostDoc (2010-2013) as a Research Fellow in Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she worked on a methodology project investigating statistical methods for genetic risk prediction, alongside breast cancer genetics analysis projects and contribution to the UCLEB consortium. She joined Queen Mary University of London in 2013 as a Postdoctoral Statistical Geneticist, and was promoted to a Lecturer in Statistical Genetics in 2017, then to a Senior Lecturer in 2021.

Her research focuses on the genetics of cardiovascular traits, with applications to genetic discovery, pharmacogenetics, polygenic risk scores, and risk prediction.

She has leading roles within international research consortia:

  • a Steering Committee member, project lead & lead analyst within the International Consortium of Blood Pressure (ICBP)
  • a co-chair, project lead & lead analyst within the Genomics Investigation of Statin Therapy (GIST) Consortium

Societies and Positions of Responsibility:

  • an elected Research Steering Committee member of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium
  • British and Irish Hypertension Society (member since 2014; Research Working Party committee member; Young Investigator (YI) Working Party committee member and was one of the three volunteer YI representatives who launched the YI Network in 2016)
  • Invited working party member for ICDA (International Common Disease Alliance) Maps to Mechanisms working party (since 2019)
  • Associate Guest Editor for Special Issue of Frontiers in Pharmacology Journal with Research Topic “Outcomes of Cardiovascular Drug Use in the Older Population” (2020)

Awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2018
  • CHARGE Early Career Award & Junior Travel Grant for oral & poster presentations, 2018 conference meeting
  • Physiological Genomics PG-SNP Journal Star Reviewer 2018
  • “James V. Neel” Young Investigator Postdoctoral Award at International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES) conference, Baltimore, USA, October 2015, for oral presentation “Investigating the Association of Rare Genetic Variants with Blood Pressure traits”
  • Young Investigator Poster Award at the British and Irish Hypertension Society conference, Dublin, September 2016, for “Novel Loci Discovery for Blood Pressure and Heart Rate using the Exome Chip”
  • Selected as “Reviewer’s Choice” at ASHG conference, Vancouver, Oct 2016 for Presentation: “Many novel Genetic loci associated with Blood Pressure are identified from a GWAS in UK Biobank”
  • PhD Student Poster Prize at GSK UK Statistics & Programming Conference, Oct 2009
  • 9 RHUL Mathematics prizes (e.g. Sherbrooke Prize: Top University of London Maths Finalist)

Travel Grant Awards

  • CHARGE Junior Travel Grant Award, March 2017
  • Postdoctoral Travel Grant from QMUL Life Sciences Institute, 2016 
  • Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics (BCGES) Postdoctoral Travel Grant, 2015 

Research

Group 

Dr Warren is a Senior Lecturer within the Clinical Pharmacology and Precision Medicine research groups, working with Prof Sir Mark Caulfield and Prof Patricia Munroe at QMUL.

Summary 

Helen’s research focuses on cardiovascular genetics and pharmacogenetics, especially relating to hypertension, statin therapy and cardiovascular risk prediction.

There are two main strands to her research areas in statistical genetics:

(i) genetic discovery of blood pressure, ECG & other cardiovascular traits
(ii) pharmacogenetics (blood pressure / anti-hypertensive drugs, lipids / statins)

As the lead statistical genetics analyst for the ASCOT and BRIGHT studies, shealso contributes data and results to many international consortia projects for the genetic association of common complex traits.

She is an approved researcher for analysis of UK Biobank data and Genomics England data.

 

Key Publications

For a full list of publications click here

*denotes joint first or last author and # denotes the corresponding author.

  • Raymond Noordam, … and Helen R Warren*, “Effects of Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium Concentrations on Ventricular Repolarization in Unselected Individuals” (2019) Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Volume 73, Issue 24, June 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.03.519
  • Evangelos Evangelou*, Helen R Warren*, David Mosen-Ansorena*, Borbala Mifsud*, Raha Pazoki*, He Gao*, Georgios Ntritsos*, Niki Dimou*et al, “Genetic analysis of over one million people identifies 535 novel loci for blood pressure” (2018) Nature Genetics 50: 1412–1425
  • Warren HR* et al, "Genome-wide association analysis identifies novel blood pressure loci and offers biological insights into cardiovascular risk." (2017) Nature Genetics 49: 403-415.
  • Surendran P*, Drenos F*, Young R*, Warren H*, Cook JP*, Mannings AK*, Grarup N*, Sim X*, et al. “Trans-ancestry meta-analysis identifies rare and common variants associated with blood pressure and hypertension.” (2016) Nature Genetics 48: 1151-1161.
  • Van den Berg M*, Warren HR*, et al, "Discovery of novel heart rate-associated loci using the Exome Chip." (2017) Hum. Mol. Genet.  doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx113.
  • R.E. Jepson*, H. Warren*, H.M. Syme, J. Elliott, P.B. Munroe, "First Genome-Wide Association Study Investigating Blood Pressure and Renal Traits in Domestic Cats" (2022) Scientific Reports
  • Kanoni S*, Masca NGD*, Stirrups KE*, Varga TV*, Warren HR*, Scott RA, et al. “Analysis with the exome array identifies multiple new independent variants in lipid loci.” (2016) Human Molecular Genetics. 25(18): 4094-4106
  • Warren H et al, “Genetic Prediction of Quantitative Lipid Traits: Comparing Shrinkage Models to Gene Scores.” (2014) Genetic Epidemiology 38 (1): 72-83#.
  • Iris Postmus*, Helen R Warren*, Stella Trompet* et al. “Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of HDL cholesterol response to statins.” (2016) Journal of Medical Genetics, DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2016-103966.

 

Sponsors

  • NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, QMUL (2013-2017)
  • NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre, QMUL (2017 – 2022)
  • Co-Investigator & Funded Analyst from Pet Plan Research Project Grant (QMUL/RVC)

Collaborators

Internal: Dr Ajay Gupta, Prof Mike Barnes, Dr Claudia Cabrera, Dr Livia Carvalho, Prof Amrita Ahluwalia, Dr Krishna Rathod

External: Dr Rosanne Jepson (Royal Veterinary College), Dr Borbala Mifsud (University of Qatar), Dr Fu Ng (St George’s), Prof Lenore Launer (NIH), Phil Chowienczyk (KCL), Dr Raymond Noordam (LUMC), Prof Michael Shattock (KCL), Dr Jennifer Pluznick (John Hopkins), Dr Oliver Clay, Prof Sandosh Padmanabhan (Glasgow)

  • The International Consortium for Antihypertensive Pharmacogenomics Studies (ICAPS)
  • International Consortium of Blood Pressure (ICBP)
  • Genomics Investigation of Statin Therapy (GIST) Consortium
  • Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE)
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