Andrew Leigh-Brown


1973 BSc (Hons) Zoology University College London
1976 PhD; Department of Genetics, University of Leicester
1977 - 1978 Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, (NIH), North Carolina, U.S.A.
1979 - 1982 Research Fellow , Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London
1982 - 1984 SERC Advanced Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex
1984 - 1992 Lecturer, Department of Genetics, University of Edinburgh
1992 - 1998 Reader, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology
1992 - 2000 Convenor, Centre for HIV Research, University of Edinburgh
1998 - present Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Edinburgh
2000 - 2002 Visiting Professor, Department of Pathology, University of California San Diego
2006 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
2003 - 2007 Head of Institute, IEB

Undergraduate teaching

  • Evolution in Action 2 (BI0012)
  • Evolutionary and Ecological Genetics 3 (IP0002)

Honours Modules

  • Molecular and Cellular Basis of HIV Infection (U00682)
  • Molecular Phylogenetics (U03444)

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate Programme Director: MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis

Research summary

My area of research is the analysis of genetic variation and evolution of HIV, particularly the evolution of drug resistance. I returned from an appointment as a Visiting Professor at the University of California San Diego in 2002 and retain close links with collegues there.

In current research in Edinburgh we are studying using statistical and machine learning approaches to study the genetic basis of combination antiretroviral drug resistance in HIV and influenza. This work is currently supported by the BBSRC.

I am also analyzing factors influencing transmission of drug resistant strains of HIV, and modelling their future spread. Using HIV sequences obtained in the course of clinical treatment we are able to reconstruct the recent HIV epidemic in the UK to understand the temporal patterns of sexual transmission. This involves collaborations with colleagues in London and elsewhere as part of a UK-wide multicentre study of the drug resistance as a determinant of clinical response to antiretroviral therapy. This work is supported by the Medical Research Council.

For several years we have also been interested in the population genetics of HIV within infected patients and the factors influencing the pattern of mutations conferring drug resistance. This has recently extended to studies of CTL-mediated selection using codon-based models, especially in the coding regions of HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase. This work is supported by the NIH.

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