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About us Medical Sciences Research Epidemiology Research units
University Medical Center Groningen

Genetic epidemiology


To investigate the genetic and environmental influences on the etiology, prediction, and prognosis of cardiometabolic, renal, and other common chronic complex diseases.


The unit plays a key role in teaching and in the genetic data analysis of all the major cohort studies in the UMCG. Our training activities include involvement in Epidemiology B registration, and providing introductory and advanced courses in genetic epidemiology, and introductory courses in R and how to handle Lifelines data on the high performance computer cluster. We coordinate the genetic studies performed in the Lifelines, TRAILS and GECKO cohorts. The unit staff are active members, leaders or co-leaders of consortia performing (epi)genome-wide association studies on blood pressure, kidney function, inflammatory factors, heart rate variability, fertility and birthweight.

Senior staff
Name Function/collaboration e-mail address Topic
Harold Snieder

Full professor, head unit

h.snieder Genetic Epidemiology of cardiometabolic disease
Judith Vonk Assistant professor j.m.vonk Longitudinal data analysis; Etiology and course of asthma and COPD; Lifelines
Ilja Nolte Senior researcher i.m.nolte Statistical Genetics
Peter v.d. Most Post-doc p.j.van.der.most Psychiatry, Nephrology

Chris Thio



Causal inference modeling
Maaike de Vries Post-doc (Epi)genetics of COPD and ageing
PhD fellows
Alireza Ani University of Isfahan, Iran a.ani Boiinformatics tools and pipelines for genome-wide data analysis
Nigus Asefa Ophtalmology n.g.asefa Heritability of eye diseases
Zhen He Shantou University, China z.he Risk factors for new onset hypertension in perimenopausal women
Zoha Kamali University of Isfahan, Iran
Xueling Lu Endocrinology

Association between (epi)genetic determinants of type 2 diabetes and body burden of endocrine disruption chemicals.

Tengfei Man Merck, Beijing, China

Heart rate variability and blood pressure regulation

Anna Neustaeter



Glaucoma screening driven by genetic and other risk factors

Katri Pärna

University of Tartu, Estonia k.parna

Prediction models for type 2 diabetes

Parinaz Poursafa University of Isfahan, Iran p.poursafa Metabolic syndrome: the neglected role of airpollution
Sophie Riesmeijer Plastic Surgery, UMCG s.a.riesmeijer

Genetics of Dupuytren’s disease

Balewgizie Tegegne Psychiatry, Vascular Medicine b.s.tegegne Genetic and environmental influences on heart rate variability and its association with hypertension
Bin Wang Beijing University, China

Genetic and environmental influences on cardoimetabolic risk

Eliza Walaszczyk RIVM, Endocrinology e.walaszczyk Epigenetics and the development of type 2 diabetes
Last modified:01 June 2022 3.31 p.m.