Skip to main content

Unravelling the genetic influences of reproductive behaviour and gene-environment interaction

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SOCIOGENOME (Unravelling the genetic influences of reproductive behaviour and gene-environment interaction)

The SOCIOGENOME project is the first to engage in a comprehensive study of genetic discovery and examination of the role of genes and gene-environment (GxE) interaction in relation to human reproductive behaviour. To date this transdisciplinary project has produced around 30 top publications infiltrating a variety of disciplines including, sociology, demography, molecular genetics, biology and the medical sciences. The pinnacle of our research to date was the discovery of 12 genetic loci linked to human reproduction, published in Nature Genetics in Oct. 2016. We also published a commentary in PNAS that reflects on the state of the art and methods used in this field (Courtiol, Tropf & Mills 2016), applied the innovative methods of GCTA to show that 15% and 10% of the heritability of age at first birth and number of children ever born was related to genetic endowment (Tropf et al. 2015, PLoS One) and linked the genetics of schizophrenia to age at first birth (Mehta et al. 2015, JAMA Psychiatry). Our work has been widely disseminated via our website, twitter feed, webinair, press releases, blogs, accessible FAQs and a film in addition to multiple keynotes and presentations around the world on this new and innovative topic. In the second phase of the project we aim to continue to produce high impact ground-breaking research, include new genetic variables and methods which will continue to yield major innovations. The project involves the PI, Melinda Mills and a dedicated team of researchers, Dr. Nicola Barban and Dr. Felix Tropf and PhD researchers Giacomo Arringhini and Xueijie Ding.