Statistical Multi-Omics group


Inga Prokopenko, MSc, PhD is a Professor in E-One Health. Her research interests span over statistical and computational method development and application to large-scale omics data to understand human disease, especially type 2 diabetes and co-morbid diseases such as cancer.

Marika Kaakinen, MSc, PhD, is a Lecturer in Statistical Multi-Omics developing methods and software for genome-wide multi-phenotype analysis. She works on multi-omics data, including whole-genome sequencing, metabolomic, proteomic and gut microbiome data.

Postdoctoral researchers

Harmen Draisma, MSc, PhD, is a statistical geneticist working on method and software development for single- and multi-phenotype as well as longitudinal analysis of genome-wide methylation data and application to metabolic traits.

Zhanna Balkhiyarova, MD, PhD, is an endocrinologist working on application of high-throughput statistical methods to the analysis of multi-omics data to disentangle shared pathophysiological mechanisms between type 2 diabetes and various comorbidities, including depression and different types of cancer.

Anna Ulrich, MSc, PhD, is a statistical geneticist having worked on the genomics of pulmonary arterial hypertension and currently working on cardiometabolic traits with particular focus on methods for causal inference and polygenic risk score analyses.

Ayse Demirkan, MSc, PhD, is a marine biologist with genetic epidemiology and multi-omics experience. She is currently interested in genetic determinants of gut microbiome and linking bacterial genetics to host phenotypes and environmental factors.

IT manager

Konstantin Rudometkin, MSc, is a IT engineer and manager. He works in Statistical Multi-Omics group on websites, internal web services, implementation and support of HPC cluster.

PhD students

Liudmila Zudina, MSc, 2019-present. PhD student working on elucidating common biological pathways between Type 2 Diabetes and cancers through genetic factors. My project involves approaching this question using existing methods and then developing a novel method to elucidate underlying pathways.

Igor Pupko, MSc, 2019-present. Is currently writing his PhD thesis under supervision of Professor Prokopenko and Dr Kaakinen.

Project Summary: Obesity leads to many serious health disorders and has been shown to play a crucial role in the development of some types of cancer, including thyroid, prostate and breast cancer. We hypothesise that obesity and cancer share a number of heritable factors and may have common causal processes in their aetiology. To investigate this, we will set out a comprehensive evaluation of established genetic effects on metabolic phenotypes and common cancers through large-scale genome-wide association studies of metabolic traits and common human malignancies. Additionally, we will further study the role of epigenetics in this co-morbidity through the availability of genome-wide methylation data.

Jared Maina, MSc, 2019-present. Project title: "Dissecting the genetic factors contributing to shared susceptibility to obesity and cancer."

The project aims to assess the co-morbidity between obesity and cancers of breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreas using a multi-trait GWAS approach. Jared is based at the UMR 1283 at the University of Lille, France and is supervised by Professor Inga Prokopenko of University of Surrey and Professor Philippe Froguel of University of Lille.

Maria Kardakova, MSc, 2020-present.

Undergrad students

Park Il Ho, BSc, doing MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, 2020-present.

BSc students from the Biomedical Science BSc programme, annually.

Visiting members

Isabel Hostettler, MD, PhD student, University College London, 2018 - present

Yevhenia Shargorodskaya, MD, PhD student, Ukraine, 2017 - present

Natalia Pervjakova, MSc, PhD, Estonia, 2017 – present

Saqib Hassan, MSc, PhD student, India, 2017 - present


Postdoctoral researchers

Martina Rosticci, MD, PhD, 2013-2016

Yanina Timasheva, MD, PhD, 2017, currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the Ufa Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa, Russia

Research assistants

Jani Heikkinen, MSc, 2015-2016, currently a Scientific Computing Specialist at the University of Basel, Switzerland

Charalambos Kkoufou, MSc, 2015, currently a Laboratory Scientific Officer in Nicosia, Cyprus

PhD students

Mila Anasanti, MSc, Imperial College London, 2015-2020.

Elena Loizidou, PhD, 2014-2018, currently a Postdoctoral researcher in Greece

Tisham De, PhD, 2010-2014, currently a Postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London, UK

Letizia Marullo, MSc, PhD, 2010-2014

MSc students

Suruthi Shasheetharan, MSc, 2020

Edita Pileckyte, MSc, 2018

Laurie Prelot, MSc, 2018, currently a PhD student at the University of Zurich, Switzerland

Kelsey Gibbs, MSc, 2017

Longda Jiang, MSc, 2016, currently a PhD student at the University of Queensland, Australia

Iryna Fedko, MSc, PhD, 2016, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Annique Claringbould, MSc, 2015, currently a postdoctoral researcher in Germany

Sunny Vijen, MSc, 2014

Fiona Hagenbeek, MSc, 2014, currently a PhD student at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

BSc students

BSc students from the Biomedical Science BSc programme, 2019-present

Emilija Kopustaite, BSc, 2018

Valeria Goffert, 2018, currently doing her BSc at the University of Tartu, Estonian Genome Center, Tartu, Estonia