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

Pippa Thomson Research Group

The genetics of mental health and cognition

Section: Translational Epidemiology

Dr Pippa Thomson
Dr Pippa Thomson - Lecturer

Research in a Nutshell

We are using genetics to understand how the brain controls behaviour through studying genetic susceptibility to psychiatric illness (depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). The group uses statistical genetic approaches to understand the basis of major mental illness. We continue this work, using linkage, association and whole genome sequence analysis to identify risk variants for mental illness and related quantitative traits such as cognition and mood, in both clinical and population-based cohorts. Key to this is using bioinformatics to understand the biological processes affected and integrating our understanding of the interaction between genetic and environmental effects acting on these complex phenotypes.

P.Thomson group


Dr Pippa Thomson Group leader

Sally Marshall

Postgraduate Research Student




  • Professor Andrew Mcintosh, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Stephen Lawrie, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Richard W. McCombie, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  • Professor David Glahn, Harvard Medical School

Scientific Themes

Genetics of complex traits, bioinformatics, psychiatric illness, cognition.

Technology Expertise

Statistics, sequence analysis, analysis of rare and common DNA variation, analysis of families and case-control data.