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The University of Southampton

Professor Joanna D Holbrook PhD, Bsc (hons)

Professor of Bioinformatics, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

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I want to improve the individualised diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases.

I want to improve the individualised diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases. I process, analyse, integrate and interpret ‘omics and clinical datasets from observational cohorts, clinical trials and from clinical care. I am currently researching molecular biomarkers of disease trajectories for assessment of intervention efficacy and as surrogate endpoints for drug discovery. I am also pursuing integration of research and NHS data and making high-dimensional ‘omics data visable and interpretable for clinical decision making.

I have led drug discovery and clinical biomarker programmes within the pharmaceutical industry and have been a key member of industry-academia alliances. I am part of the EpiGen consortia which is an formal international academic consortia, in which we aim to discover the mechanisms underlying the interaction between the environmental factors, genetic and epigenetic processes with respect to their influence on health and the risk of disease across the life-course and accelerate the translation of our knowledge to make a positive impact on health, well-being and society. Based on patents filed, the consortium has gained seed funding through large contracts with major corporate partners.


PhD, Molecular Cell Biology, University College London (UCL), UK Feb 2001

BSc (hons) 1st Class, Genetics, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK June 1997

Appointments held

March 2016 - Present, Professor of Bioinformatics – NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton, UK

Jan 2011- Nov 2016, Senior Principal Investigator – Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Singapore

Jan 2007 –Oct 2010, Oncology Biology Manager – Oncology R&D – GlaxoSmithKline USA

Nov 2000 – Dec 2006, Bioinformatics Manager - Molecular Discovery Research, GlaxoSmithKline UK




Research interests

  • Prognostic biomarkers
  • Biomarkers of endophenotypes
  • Biomarkers of disease trajectory and treatment efficacy
  • Epigenomics
  • Epigenome wise association studies (EWAS) and DNA methylome association studies (methWAS)
  • Integration of research and clinical care data
  • Learning health systems
  • Data governance and integrity



Research group

Human Development and Health

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Professor Joanna D Holbrook
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

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