MRC Human Genetics Unit
Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit

Kenny Baillie (Affiliate)

Translational genomics in critical illness

Professor Kenneth Baillie
Professor Kenneth Baillie, Personal Chair of Experimental Medicine, Deanery of Clinical Sciences Centre for Inflammation Research

Research in a Nutshell

We are trying to understand the mechanisms that make people desperately sick in sepsis, influenza and emerging infections, so that we can find ways to help them survive and recover.

Since there is biological variation in the host response to injury, and some of this variation is genetic, we can use this genetic variation to find new treatments.

We develop and use computational methods to combine data from different sources. The ultimate aim is to use these signals to lead us to biological processes that might be amenable to treatment. We use viral respiratory illness as a model for the broader host response to critical injury.

We develop and apply computational tools, and use in vitro and in vivo genome editing with CRISPR to generate and test hypotheses.

External Website



Kenny Baillie Personal Chair of Experimental Medicine



  1. Translational genomics. Targeting the host immune response to fight infection Baillie, J. K., 23 May 2014, In: Science. 344, 6186, p. 807-808 2 p.

  2. An atlas of active enhancers across human cell types and tissuesAndersson, R., Gebhard, C., Miguel-Escalada, I., Hoof, I., Bornholdt, J., Boyd, M., Chen, Y., Zhao, X., Schmidl, C., Suzuki, T., Ntini, E., Arner, E., Valen, E., Li, K., Schwarzfischer, L., Glatz, D., Raithel, J., Lilje, B., Rapin, N., Bagger, F. O., & 31 others, 26 Mar 2014, In: Nature. 507, 7493, p. 455-61 7 p.

  3. IFITM3 restricts the morbidity and mortality associated with influenzaGenISIS Investigators, The MOSAIC Investigators & Haley, C., 26 Apr 2012, In: Nature. 484, 7395, p. 519-23 5 p.

  4. Somatic retrotransposition alters the genetic landscape of the human brainBaillie, J. K., Barnett, M. W., Upton, K. R., Gerhardt, D. J., Richmond, T. A., De Sapio, F., Brennan, P., Rizzu, P., Smith, S., Fell, M., Talbot, R. T., Gustincich, S., Freeman, T. C., Mattick, J. S., Hume, D. A., Heutink, P., Carninci, P., Jeddeloh, J. A. & Faulkner, G. J., Nov 2011, In: Nature. 479, 7374, p. 534-537 4 p.

  5. Cystatin C is associated with adverse COVID-19 outcomes in diverse populationsKleeman, S. O., Cordioli, M., Timmers, P. R. H. J., Khan, A., Tober-Lau, P., Kurth, F., Demichev, V., Meyer, H. V., Wilson, J. F., Ralser, M., Kiryluk, K., Ganna, A., Baillie, K. & Janowitz, T., 21 Oct 2022, In: iScience. 25, 10, 12 p., 105040.

Full publication list can be found on Research Explorer: Kenneth Baillie — University of Edinburgh Research Explorer


  • Alison Meynert
  • Chris Ponting

Partners and Funders

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Sepsis Research (FEAT)
  • Intensive Care Society
  • MRC


Scientific Themes

critical care medicine, virus response, genomics, transcriptomics, systems biology, stratified medicine