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The University of Southampton

Dr Faisal I Rezwan BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow, Turing Fellow

Dr Faisal I Rezwan's photo

Dr. Faisal Rezwan is the Senior Research Fellow within Medicine at the University of Southampton with over 10 years’ experience in bioinformatics and computational methods.

He graduated with a B.Sc. in Computer Science & Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh in 2004.  During his masters (2007), he undertook research based at both the Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI, UK) in data integration. In his doctoral research, he used machine learning and data integration techniques to derive a novel method to improve transcription factor binding sites predictions. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Hertfordshire (UK) in 2012. He joined the Faculty of Medicine and his initial research involved data mining big scale genetic and epigenetic data to identifying biomarker to improve clinical treatment for patients with imprinting disorders. His current research, under Prof. John Holloway, includes exploring the mechanisms of prenatal programming of respiratory disease and epigenetic mechanisms underlying atopy and asthma susceptibility; gene-environment interactions in the early life origins of asthma and COPD; characterisation of genetic factors influencing asthma severity; and identification and validation of novel asthma susceptibility genes. He is currently the part of the Aging Lungs in European Cohorts (ALEC) study, which is the part of a Horizon 2020 project. He has extensive experience of genome-wide transcriptomic, genetic, and epigenetic analysis of cohorts. He is in active collaboration with University of Memphis (USA) and University of Bergen (Norway). He is also part of the Pregnancy And Child Epigenetics (PACE) and Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium (GoDMC) consortium.

In 2019, Dr. Rezwan has been selected for the prestigious Turing fellowship. His research at Turing will include a pilot project that will apply deep learning approach on patient data from Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRS) to predict onset or outcome of chronic lung diseases.


BSc, Computer Science & Engineering, BUET (Bangladesh) 2004
MSc, Bioinformatics, Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) 2007
PhD, Bioinformatics, University of Hertfordshire (UK) 2012
FHEA, Academic Practice, University of Southampton (UK) 2018

Appointments held

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in genomic and epigenomic bioinformatics inHuman Development and Health, University of Southampton. 2012-2015

Research Fellow in Human Development and Health, University of Southampton 2015-2017

Senior Research Fellow in Human Development and Health, University of Southampton 2017- present

Research interests

Dr Rezwan’s interests involve statistical, bioinformatic and machine learning approaches to unravel the role of genetics and epigenetics in the developmental origins of allergy and respiratory disease.

Research group

Human Development and Health

PhD Supervision

Dr Rezwan currently supervises one full time PhD student – Dilini Kothalawala

MPhil/PhD research

Title: Development of a risk model for prediction of childhood asthma by data integration
Supervisors: Dr Faisal I Rezwan, Prof John W Holloway, Prof S Hasan Arshad
Funding: NIHR Southampton BRC, UoS Presidential Scholarship

University of Southampton

Registered STEM ambassador LifeLab
Personal academic tutor for MSc in Genomic Medicine students

National and International responsibilities

Member BMBS COST Action BM1201 Developmental Origins of Chronic Lung Disease
Member Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP)
Associate Faculty Member, F1000
Reviewer of peer-reviewed journals -  Epigenomics, PLoS ONE, BMJ Open, Epigenetics, Scientific Reports

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Deputy module lead in ‘Bioinformatics, Interpretation, and Data Quality Assurance in Genome Analysis’ for the MSc in Genomic Medicine. 

Lecturing, demonstrating, exam marking, and Project Supervision for the MSc in Genomic Medicine

Project Supervision for BM5/BM(EU)/BM6 Year 2 medical undergraduate

Aging Lungs in European Cohort

his project is the part of a Horizon 2020 project called ALEC (Aging Lungs in European Cohorts) involving 11 groups across Europe and Australia. In this project, genome and methylome datasets have been used to identify genes related to lung functions and impact of epigenetic aging on lung health. Dr. Rezwan has provided significant contribution to the epigenetic research in the projects on lung functions, parental smoking and epigenetic aging.

Turing Fellowship Project

In this project, in-patient information is being used for developing models to predict the onset of lung diseases, such as: severe asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This model will also extend the predictions on patient’s hospitalisation time, optimum release time, and further risk of occurrence in the future, readmission prediction.  This project has two advantages: firstly, it will capitalise on the analysis of a real-world NHS data set that is available through the collaboration between University Hospital Southampton and the University of Southampton; and secondly it will help to assist in improvement in personalised patient care.

Isle of Wight Birth and 3rd Generation Cohorts

Dr. Rezwan is involved in exploring the mechanisms of prenatal programming of respiratory diseases and investigating epigenetic mechanisms underlying atopy and asthma susceptibility in child and adult in Isle of Wight cohorts.

Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE)

He is also the part of the Pregnancy And Child Epigenetics (PACE). This consortium is comprised of researchers at NIEHS and around the world who are interested in studying the early life environmental impacts on human disease using epigenetics. He is leading the Season of Birth meta-analysis project, which explores the effect of season of birth on child’s DNA methylation. 

Respiratory Health In Northern Europe, Spain and Australia (RHINESSA)

RHINESSA is an international research project dedicated to studying lung health throughout the lifespan and across generations. It investigates the children and parents of the participants of large international studies (RHINE and ECRHS) in 7 countries. Dr. Rezwan is contributing in epigenetics and leading the paternal smoking project, which explores the long-term effect of pre-natal paternal smoking o child’s DNA methylation.

Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium (GoDMC)

GoDMC was established with the view of bringing together researchers with an interest in studying the genetic basis of DNA methylation variation, to consolidate as many resources and expertise as possible and thereby expedite this field of research. To date, GoDMC comprises representatives from 22 research groups. Dr. Rezwan is leading Isle of Birth Cohort with Prof. John Holloway, together with these groups.

Dr Faisal I Rezwan
University of Southampton, Duthie Building, MP 808, Southampton General Hospital

Tel: 023 8120 8783

Room Number: SGH/DA009/MP808

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