Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Education / Academic qualification

Master of Science, University of Aberdeen
Doctor of Science, University of Aberdeen
Bachelor of Biomedical science, University of Jordan

Biography

I graduated from the University of Jordan with a first class BSc degree in biomedical Sciences in 1996 and then I moved to Scotland where I obtained an MSc in Medical Molecular Genetics from the University of Aberdeen in 1997. I was then offered a PhD scholarship to work on the genetics of osteoporosis. I obtained a PhD degree in Medical Sciences (Genetics) in 2001 from the University of Aberdeen and worked as a post doc until 2002 when I was appointed as Arthritis Research lecturer in Genetics of Bone disease at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS, University of Aberdeen) . In 2005 I moved to the University of Edinburgh where I am currently a Reader in Genetics and functional genomics based at the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine (CGEM) which is part of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM). Over the past 12 years I have investigated the genetic determinants of bone disease with emphasis on osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone. I have investigated and contributed to the identification of many genetic variants predisposing to osteoporosis. Recently I have identified 7 new genetic variants that predispose to Paget’s disease of bone (Albagha et al, Nat Genet 2010 and Albagha et al, Nat Genet 2011). These genetic variants were also significant predictors of Paget’s disease severity (Albagha et al, JBMR 2013). I have been awarded the Iain Boyle in 2011 by the European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) for significant contribution to the field of genetics of bone and calcified tissue. I currently hold a European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant.

Qualifications

DateInstitutionDegree
2001University of Aberdeen, UKPhD in Medical Sciences (Genetics)
1997University of Aberdeen, UKMSc in Medical Molecular Genetics
1996University of JordanBSc in Biomedical Science (GPA 3.8/4.0, First in Class)

 

Current Research Interests

Investigation of genetic and epigenetic factors predisposing to bone disease

Research Interests

Over the past 12 years I have investigated the genetic determinants of bone disease with emphasis on osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone. I have investigated and contributed to the identification of many genetic variants predisposing to osteoporosis. Recently I have identified 7 new genetic variants that predispose to Paget’s disease of bone (Albagha et al, Nat Genet 2010 and Albagha et al, Nat Genet 2011). These genetic variants were also significant predictors of Paget’s disease severity (Albagha et al, JBMR 2013). Current research interest is aimed at defining new genetic and epigenetic factors contributing to Paget’s disease of bone by employing next generation sequencing and epigenetic profiling in cases and controls. I am also investigating the functional effects of the newly identified genetic variants on bone cell function using in vivo and in vitro methods to understand how these genes and variants predispose to the disease. The findings of my studies will increase our understanding of disease mechanism and define new molecular pathways that could be useful in designing new treatments and in case of Paget’s disease; the identified genetic markers could be useful clinically in predicting the disease severity.

Research Groups

I am an active member of the international GENOMOS and GEFOS consortia aimed at defining genetic factors predisposing to osteoporosis.

I am also an active member of the Genetic Determinants of Paget's Disease (GDPD) Consortium.

My research in a nutshell

Osteoporosis is a common bone disease characterised by reduction in bone density leading to increased risk of fracture. The disease affects mostly women over the age of 60 years. Paget’s disease of bone is another common bone disease affecting up to 1% of people over the age of 55 years and it is characterised by focal areas of increased bone turnover leading to symptoms of bone pain, deformity, and increased risk of fracture. My research is aimed at defining the genetic factors that makes certain people at risk of developing osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone using state of the art genetic mapping techniques and to perform functional studies on the identified genetic factors to understand how they lead to the development of the disease. The findings of my studies will increase our understanding of disease mechanism and may define new molecular pathways that could be useful in designing new treatments and in case of Paget’s disease; the identified genetic markers could be useful clinically in predicting the disease severity.

Teaching

I contribute to the IGMM PhD teaching module

I contribute to the "human complex trait" module

Administrative Roles

Member of the IGMM biological safety Committee and the Genetic modification safety committee

Research activities & awards

  1. Iain Boyle Award

    Activity: Awards and AccoladesPrize (including medals and awards)

  2. Most Outstanding Clinical Abstract Award

    Activity: Awards and AccoladesPrize (including medals and awards)

  3. Scottish scientist identify bone disease trigger

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation

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