Professor Chris Haley

Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Research Interests

My interested is in developing an understanding the control of complex traits, where inter-individual variation within and between populations is controlled by variation at a number of genes, by environmental factors and by the complex interactions of these components. Most variation between individuals within and between populations is in the form of complex traits. Consequently variation in complex traits is responsible for most inter-individual variation in susceptibility to disease (both infectious and metabolic) and underlies responses to selection, both natural and artificial. Understanding the genetic architecture of complex traits, both in general and for specific traits in particular populations, is essential if we are to understand why and how individuals vary. We can only be really effective in understanding and treating many diseases, in dissecting the causes and consequences of evolution or in breeding improved varieties of plants or animals if we understand the genetic control of variation in complex traits.

My research focuses on studies of the control of complex traits illustrated by results from specific examples. My group has been involved the development of specific experimental studies and the resources necessary to implement these studies together with the development and application of methods and tools capable of analysing and interpreting the data generated by my group and our collaborators. In recent years research has focused on the development and application of statistical methods in particular for mapping the position of individual loci affecting quantitative traits (quantitative trait loci or QTL) through linkage and association in humans and other species. The tools of structural and functional genomics have now reached a point where we can identify genes controlling variation with ever increasing precision, we can dissect interactions between genes and not just their direct effects and we can start piecing together the complex networks of interactions in expression and function that lie between genes and the phenotypes. These are the directions in which my current and future research lies.

Selected Publications

  • Maria Munoz, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Oriol Canela-Xandri, Konrad Rawlik, Christopher Haley, Albert Tenesa. 2016. Evaluating the contribution of genetic and familial shared environment to common disease using the UK Biobank. Nature Genetics Vol: 48 Pages: 980-983. More»
  • Yanni Zeng, Pau Navarro, Ana M. Fernandez-pujals, Lynsey S. Hall, Toni-kim Clarke, Pippa A. Thomson, Blair H. Smith, Lynne J. Hocking, Sandosh Padmanabhan, Caroline Hayward, Donald J. Macintyre, Naomi R. Wray, Ian Deary, David J Porteous, Chris S. Haley, Andrew M. Mcintosh. 2016. A Combined Pathway and Regional Heritability Analysis Indicates NETRIN1 Pathway is Associated with Major Depressive Disorder. Biological Psychiatry. More»
  • Charley Xia, Carmen Amador, J. Huffman, Holly Trochet, Archie Campbell, David Porteous, Generation Scotland, Nicholas Hastie, Caroline Hayward, Veronique Vitart, Pau Navarro, Christopher Haley. 2016. Pedigree- and SNP-Associated Genetics and Recent Environment are the Major Contributors to Anthropometric and Cardiometabolic Trait Variation. PLoS Genetics Vol: 12. More»
  • L Andersson, C S Haley, H Ellegren, S A Knott, M Johansson, K Andersson, L Andersson-Eklund, I Edfors-Lilja, M Fredholm, I Hansson. 1994. Genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci for growth and fatness in pigs. Science Vol: 263 Pages: 1771-4. More»
  • C S Haley, S A Knott. 1992. A simple regression method for mapping quantitative trait loci in line crosses using flanking markers. Heredity Vol: 69 Pages: 315-24. More»
  • Yurii S Aulchenko, Dirk-Jan de Koning, Chris Haley. 2007. Genomewide rapid association using mixed model and regression: a fast and simple method for genomewide pedigree-based quantitative trait loci association analysis. Genetics Vol: 177 Pages: 577-85. More»
  • Alida S. D. Kindt, Pau Navarro, Colin A. M. Semple, Chris S. Haley. 2013. The genomic signature of trait-associated variants. BMC Genomics Vol: 14. More»
  • Gibran Hemani, Sara Knott, Chris Haley. 2013. An Evolutionary Perspective on Epistasis and the Missing Heritability. PLoS Genetics Vol: 9. More»
  • Albert Tenesa, Chris S Haley. 2013. The heritability of human disease: estimation, uses and abuses. Nature Reviews Genetics Vol: 14 Pages: 139-49. More»
  • Yoshitaka Nagamine, Ricardo Pong-Wong, Pau Navarro, Veronique Vitart, Caroline Hayward, Igor Rudan, Harry Campbell, James Wilson, Sarah Wild, Andrew A Hicks, Peter P Pramstaller, Nicholas Hastie, Alan F Wright, Chris S Haley. 2012. Localising Loci underlying Complex Trait Variation Using Regional Genomic Relationship Mapping. PLoS One Vol: 7. More»