B4012 - Genome-wide investigation of heritable complex traits in infancy - 09/03/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Angelica Ronald | Birkbeck, University of London (United Kingdom)
Professor Emily Jones, Professor Frank Dudbridge, Dr Alex Havdahl
Title of project: 
Genome-wide investigation of heritable complex traits in infancy
Proposal summary: 

Our recent review of published twin studies revealed that infant behaviour is significantly heritable, with twin heritability estimates ranging between 30 and 80% for psychologically-relevant traits. However, thus far there has been little attempt to study the genetic bases of infant behaviour looking at the DNA.

With this study, we aim to explore the role of common genetic variation on heritable infant behavioural traits. Genome-wide association analyses will be performed for infant psychologically-relevant characteristics collected in the first three years of life in the ALSPAC cohort. Results will then be combined with results from other cohorts in a meta-analysis on a large world-wide sample. Following this gene-discovery phase, we will use state of the art statistical genetic methodology to further investigate genetic influences on infants’ behaviour.

Impact of research: 
This research will advance knowledge on the genetic factors that play a role on infant psychologically-relevant traits, and on the stability and change of such genetic influences across the first years of life. The findings may inform further basic research in genetics, neuroscience and psychiatry.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 23 February, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 March, 2022
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Mental health, GWAS, Psychology - personality