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Professor David J Porteous

Chair of Human Molecular Genetics and Medicine

0131 651 1040/1041

Medical Genetics Section, Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine
Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road
Edinburgh EH4 2XU

Prof. Porteous is Chair of Human Molecular Genetics and Medicine at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (, Edinburgh, a world ‘top 20’ University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), the Academy of Medical Sciences and EMBO.In 2013, he was awarded the OBE for contributions to science by the Queen.

For over 20 years, he has used genetics and genomics to identify genes that determine the risk of developing mental illness, most notably the DISC1 gene in 2000. This work established a new paradigm in psychiatric genetics of ‘one gene, several disorders’ and is now recognized as one of the most informative findings in the field (Science Magazine Scientific Breakthrough of the Year in 2005).

In 2003, he established Generation Scotland (, a cohort of 24,000 participants in 7,000 family groups who have been examined for a wide range of medically relevant traits, including personality, mood and mental health. As a result, he is now investigating the genetic and environment factors that determine risk and resilience to major depression disorder as a first step towards predictive and precision medicine.