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Genetic Epidemiology

Through genetic epidemiology, we look to understand how genetic factors interact with environmental factors in the context of disease in families and populations.

Our Genetic Epidemiology Research Group is led by Professor Sulev Kõks. Professor Kõks joined Perron Institute and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT) in 2018 from the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Research Focus

Professor Kõks and the Genetic Epidemiology team have a research goal to use genomic technologies in longitudinal studies as predictors for neurodegenerative outcomes in diseases such as Parkinson’s and motor neurone diseases. In addition, the research aims to find shared genetic markers between neurodegenerative diseases to reveal the common pathogenetic mechanisms: the group is also involved in osteosarcoma and osteoarthritis research using genomic tools to help classify malignancies or to predict late complications after total arthroplasty.

Having a solid background in the genetics of mood disorders, rare diseases, translational research and genetic mechanisms of common diseases, Professor Kõks’ previous work included the development of a model for the rare, inherited disease, Wolfram syndrome, demonstrating the mechanisms involved in cellular degeneration.

The Genetic Epidemiology Research Group is focusing on a number of new developments including the initiation of clinical trials utilising drug repurposing. This will be done for Parkinson’s Disease patients who are genetically profiled to analyse their drug responsiveness.


  • Kõks & others. Michael J Fox Foundation for “Genome-wide association study in Parkinson's disease among East Asians” (2020-2022)
  • Kõks & others. Sock it to Sarcoma for “The Differentiation of Osteosarcoma Subtypes by Whole Transcriptome Analysis: A functional substrate for combined precision therapies” (2021-2022)
  • Kõks & others. European Union Horizon 2020, Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI 2) for "Biomarkers in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis" (2019-2023)
  • Kõks, Aoun & Akkari. MSWA for “Trajectories of Outcomes in Neurological Conditions study – TONiC in WA” (2019-2022)

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