Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

David Porteous Research Group (Emeritus)

Identification of risk factors, disease processes and new treatments for common genetic disorders

Section: Genomic Medicine

Emeritus Professor David Porteous

Research in a Nutshell

How do genes (nature) and the environment (nurture) influence our life course and our health? Our lifestyle (exercise, diet, smoking, drinking) have a direct effect, but apart from these few examples it is hard to measure and monitor our environment and draw conclusions about their influence. By contrast, it is now possible to test our genes with great accuracy, all 20,000 of them. This is the idea behind Generation Scotland in which 24,000 participants from 7,000 families are being studied for how their health and that of their relatives relates to their genes and lifestyle. This work is supported by the Edinburgh Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility Genetics Core which we set up in 1999 to support all medical researchers asking genetic questions. Generation Scotland is a research platform open to academic and commercial partnerships in health data science. 

Following a £5.1 million award for the Wellcome Trust (2019-2024), we aim to extend the breadth and depth of the Generation Scotland cohort by utilising remote sample and data collection to recruit the next generation (aged 12 and over) and double the cohort in size, using e-HR data linkage to NHS Scotland routine data to establish a richly annotated, longitudinal, life-course cohort.

Research in a Nutshell


Generation Scotland
Prof David Porteous' Research Group


Emeritus Professor David Porteous Principal Investigator
Mr Archie Campbell Chief Technology Officer
Ms Robin Flaig Chief Operations Officer
Ms Louise Hartley Administrator and Finance
Ms Rachel Edwards

Administrator and Communications

Dr Rebecca Dawson

Recruitment, Engagement and Communications

Dr Chloe Fawns-Ritchie Participant data collection
Mr Cliff Nangle NHS Scotland health record linkage



Video courtesy of Dementias Platform UK www.dementiasplatform.uk


  • Professor Ian Deary, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Andrew McIntosh, University of Edinburgh 
  • Dr Kathy Evans, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Kirsty Millar, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Pippa Thomson, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Kristen Nicodemus, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Riccardo Marioni, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Richard McCombie, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, NY, USA

Partners and Funders

  • UK Medical Research Council
  • Chief Scientist's Office, Scotland
  • Wellcome Trust
  • National Institutes of Mental Health

Scientific Themes

Population health genetics; psychiatric genetics.

Technology Expertise

Genetics and genome science.