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Personal profile

Research Interests

My major research interest is in determining the genetic and epigenetic contribution to non-pathological age-related cognitive decline. I am interested in determining the type, number and specific genetic variants and proteins involved. I am also investigating genetic and epigenetic influences on the life-long trait of cognitive ability and personality traits and the influence of telomere length change, gene expression levels, protein levels and metabolites on cognitive and physical ageing. These studies are being performed using genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, cognitive, physical and personality data from surviving members of the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947, on whom there are mental ability scores available at the age of 11 years, and extensive, cognitive, personality, physical, social and biochemical data available from later life. I am also involved with several national and international collaborations, giving me access to data from numerous other cohorts with similar data including CHARGE and UK Biobank. My main skills are in the identification of genes and biological pathways based on experimental biology and bioinformatics, genotyping methodologies, and omic-phenotype statistical modelling, using software such as R, SPSS, PLINK and Mach2qtl.


MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis



1999 PhD (Expression and functional analysis of DMAHP/SIX5) University of Glasgow.

1994  BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Genetics) IIi, University of Leicester.

Administrative Roles

I am responsible for maintaining the genetic information in the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1921 and the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 databases. I coordinate genetic studies within the Lothian Birth Cohorts group. I am responsible for all biological samples relating to the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1999


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  • Gene-educational attainment interactions in a multi-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis identify novel blood pressure loci

    De Las Fuentes, L., Sung, Y. J., Noordam, R., Winkler, T., Feitosa, M. F., Schwander, K., Bentley, A. R., Brown, M. R., Guo, X., Manning, A., Chasman, D. I., Aschard, H., Bartz, T. M., Bielak, L. F., Campbell, A., Cheng, C., Dorajoo, R., Hartwig, F. P., Horimoto, A. R. V. R., Li, C. & 202 others, Li-gao, R., Liu, Y., Marten, J., Musani, S. K., Ntalla, I., Rankinen, T., Richard, M., Sim, X., Smith, A. V., Tajuddin, S. M., Tayo, B. O., Vojinovic, D., Warren, H. R., Xuan, D., Alver, M., Boissel, M., Chai, J., Chen, X., Christensen, K., Divers, J., Evangelou, E., Gao, C., Girotto, G., Harris, S. E., He, M., Hsu, F., Kühnel, B., Laguzzi, F., Li, X., Lyytikäinen, L., Nolte, I. M., Poveda, A., Rauramaa, R., Riaz, M., Rueedi, R., Shu, X., Snieder, H., Sofer, T., Takeuchi, F., Verweij, N., Ware, E. B., Weiss, S., Yanek, L. R., Amin, N., Arking, D. E., Arnett, D. K., Bergmann, S., Boerwinkle, E., Brody, J. A., Broeckel, U., Brumat, M., Burke, G., Cabrera, C. P., Canouil, M., Chee, M. L., Chen, Y. I., Cocca, M., Connell, J., De Silva, H. J., De Vries, P. S., Eiriksdottir, G., Faul, J. D., Fisher, V., Forrester, T., Fox, E. F., Friedlander, Y., Gao, H., Gigante, B., Giulianini, F., Gu, C. C., Gu, D., Harris, T. B., He, J., Heikkinen, S., Heng, C., Hunt, S., Ikram, M. A., Irvin, M. R., Kähönen, M., Kavousi, M., Khor, C. C., Kilpeläinen, T. O., Koh, W., Komulainen, P., Kraja, A. T., Krieger, J. E., Langefeld, C. D., Li, Y., Liang, J., Liewald, D. C. M., Liu, C., Liu, J., Lohman, K. K., Mägi, R., Mckenzie, C. A., Meitinger, T., Metspalu, A., Milaneschi, Y., Milani, L., Mook-kanamori, D. O., Nalls, M. A., Nelson, C. P., Norris, J. M., O’connell, J., Ogunniyi, A., Padmanabhan, S., Palmer, N. D., Pedersen, N. L., Perls, T., Peters, A., Petersmann, A., Peyser, P. A., Polasek, O., Porteous, D. J., Raffel, L. J., Rice, T. K., Rotter, J. I., Rudan, I., Rueda-ochoa, O., Sabanayagam, C., Salako, B. L., Schreiner, P. J., Shikany, J. M., Sidney, S. S., Sims, M., Sitlani, C. M., Smith, J. A., Starr, J. M., Strauch, K., Swertz, M. A., Teumer, A., Tham, Y. C., Uitterlinden, A. G., Vaidya, D., Van Der Ende, M. Y., Waldenberger, M., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wei, W., Weir, D. R., Wen, W., Yao, J., Yu, B., Yu, C., Yuan, J., Zhao, W., Zonderman, A. B., Becker, D. M., Bowden, D. W., Deary, I. J., Dörr, M., Esko, T., Freedman, B. I., Froguel, P., Gasparini, P., Gieger, C., Jonas, J. B., Kammerer, C. M., Kato, N., Lakka, T. A., Leander, K., Lehtimäki, T., Magnusson, P. K. E., Marques-vidal, P., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Samani, N. J., Van Der Harst, P., Wagenknecht, L. E., Wu, T., Zheng, W., Zhu, X., Bouchard, C., Cooper, R. S., Correa, A., Evans, M. K., Gudnason, V., Hayward, C., Horta, B. L., Kelly, T. N., Kritchevsky, S. B., Levy, D., Palmas, W. R., Pereira, A. C., Province, M. M., Psaty, B. M., Ridker, P. M., Rotimi, C. N., Tai, E. S., Van Dam, R. M., Van Duijn, C. M., Wong, T. Y., Rice, K., Gauderman, W. J., Morrison, A. C., North, K. E., Kardia, S. L. R., Caulfield, M. J., Elliott, P., Munroe, P. B., Franks, P. W., Rao, D. C. & Fornage, M., Jun 2021, In: Molecular Psychiatry. 26, p. 2111–2125

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Variation in the dysbindin gene and normal cognitive function in three independent population samples

    Luciano, M., Miyajima, F., Lind, P. A., Bates, T. C., Horan, M., Harris, S., Wright, M. J., Ollier, W. E., Hayward, C., Pendleton, N., Gow, A. J., Visscher, P. M., Starr, J., Deary, I. J., Martin, N. G. & Payton, A., Mar 2009, In: Genes, Brain and Behavior. 8, 2, p. 218-227 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Childhood intelligence is heritable, highly polygenic and associated with FNBP1L

    Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Benyamin, B., Pourcain, B., Davis, O. S., Davies, G., Hansell, N. K., Brion, M-J., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Cents, R. A. M., Franić, S., Miller, M. B., Haworth, C. M. A., Meaburn, E., Price, T. S., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N., Kemp, J., Ring, S., McArdle, W., Medland, S. E. & 24 others, Yang, J., Harris, S. E., Liewald, D. C., Scheet, P., Xiao, X., Hudziak, J. J., de Geus, E. J. C., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Starr, J. M., Verhulst, F. C., Pennell, C., Tiemeier, H., Iacono, W. G., Palmer, L. J., Montgomery, G. W., Martin, N. G., Boomsma, D. I., Posthuma, D., McGue, M., Wright, M. J., Davey Smith, G., Deary, I. J., Plomin, R. & Visscher, P. M., Feb 2014, In: Molecular Psychiatry. 19, 2, p. 253-8 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Genetic and environmental exposures constrain epigenetic drift over the human life course

    Shah, S., Mcrae, A. F., Marioni, R. E., Harris, S. E., Gibson, J., Henders, A. K., Redmond, P., Cox, S. R., Pattie, A., Corley, J., Murphy, L., Martin, N. G., Montgomery, G. W., Starr, J. M., Wray, N. R., Deary, I. & Visscher, P. M., 1 Nov 2014, In: Genome Research. 24, 11, p. 1725-1733

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • Absence of association of a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus with age-related phenotypes in a large multicohort study: the HALCyon programme: TERT SNP and age-related phenotypes

    Alfred, T., Ben-shlomo, Y., Cooper, R., Hardy, R., Cooper, C., Deary, I. J., Elliott, J., Gunnell, D., Harris, S. E., Kivimaki, M., Kumari, M., Martin, R. M., Power, C., Sayer, A. A., Starr, J., Kuh, D. & Day, I. N. M., 1 Jun 2011, In: Aging Cell. 10, 3, p. 520-532

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review