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New Bristol Interdisciplinary Unit to Study Genetics of Disease

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Bristol has announced that it plans to open a new £23million ($34.8 million) epidemiological research center that will harness an array of disciplines including genetics, epigenetics, computer sciences, chemistry, psychology, and others.

Funded by the university and the UK's Medical Research Council, the new Integrative Epidemiology Unit is scheduled to launch on June 1.

The unit will emphasize using genetics to gain a better understanding of how lifestyle, environmental changes, and pharmacological treatments can lower the risk of disease.

Bristol said the effort will capitalize on major investments the university has made in new sample processing technologies to boost its ability to study the biological mechanisms of disease.

"The exponential increase in molecular data that can be generated should transform both the scope and power of epidemiological methods to improve understanding of human development and disease," Bristol Professor Davey Smith said in a statement.

Some of the new unit's research projects will be conducted within the Children of the 90s study, a long-term health project co-funded by Bristol, the MRC, and the Wellcome Trust.