Frances Mary Kingsley W
King’s College London
I trained as a Rheumatologist in the South Thames region after obtaining my PhD in the lab (2001) studying coagulation in the antiphospholipid syndrome. I gradually switched to genetic epidemiology in my early years as a consultant rheumatologist (2004-). I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate fellowship in 2007 which has funded my research into lumbar disc degeneration. In addition to this work, I am investigating the genetics of chronic widespread pain and a number of other complex age-related traits.
I have a broad interest in the genetic epidemiology of common complex traits, but my main focus lies with the degenerative musculoskeletal diseases including degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and chronic widespread pain. Such conditions provide a high burden in terms of both direct cost to medical services and days lost from work. My work aims to identify genetic variants - single base pair or methylation - accounting for the variation in expression of these phenotypes. The ultimate aim is to understand better the cellular pathways involved and thereby identify novel therapeutic targets. I collaborate with research groups internationally and with industry and believe that the future of complex trait genetics in this field lies in large scale sharing of data. This will necessitate working towards the international standardisation of phenotypes enabling sharing and comparing of data to make inferences about genetic variants and their role in complex traits.