Buil Lab

Developing methods that integrate genealogical, environmental, social and genetic information to
understand the genetic architecture of mental disorders and their comorbid trajectories

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About the research leader

Alfonso Buil
Research Leader

I am a computer scientist with wide experience in statistical genetics and genomics. After graduation I worked for five years in the private sector. Then I moved to the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona where I led the analysis team of the Genetic Analysis of Idiopathic Thrombophilia (GAIT) Project. At the same time, I did a PhD in Statistical Genetics with the supervision of Dr. John Blangero from the Texas Biomedical Institute (San Antonio, Tx, USA). In my dissertation l demonstrate the practical utility of multivariate variance components methods on the study of the genetics of complex traits in family samples.  I did my postdoctoral training in Dermitzakis’ lab at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) where I studied the genetic architecture of gene expression on different tissues and how to use gene expression as an intermediate phenotype with disease.

About Buil Lab

My main interest is answering questions of biological and medical importance by innovative analysis of large-scale datasets. My aim is to understand the etiology of complex traits using different types of information by applying integrative approaches that recognize the importance of genetic and environmental factors and the interactions between them. Currently I am focused on the study of psychiatric disorders developing studies that bring precision medicine to psychiatry. The Danish research environment offers a unique opportunity to work in large scale projects joining national register-based health data with national biobanks. But Denmark is a small country and some questions require larger sample sizes to be answered. A key point of my research is the collaboration with the other Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia and Finland).  Together we developed the Tryggve initiative that allows joint distributed data analyses in different countries.

Specific themes:

  • Developing methods that integrate genealogical, environmental, social and genetic information to
    understand the genetic architecture of mental disorders and their comorbid trajectories
  • Identifying of parent of origin effects on mental disorders
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of assortative mating in mental disorders
  • Investigating the causes and consequences of sex-specific genetic architecture of mental disorders
  • Identifying the causes of disease trajectories
  • Identifying early stage biomarkers of mental disease risk
  • Identifying the genetic determinants of  extreme depression

Key collaborators:

  • University of Oslo (Norway): Ole Andreasen, Martin Tesli
  • Karolinska Institute (Sweden): Pat Sullivan, Lu Yi, Fang Fang
  • University of Iceland (Iceland): Unnur Valdimarsdottir
  • University of Tartu (Estonia): Lili Milani, Kelly Letto
  • Decode Genetics (Iceland): Hreinn Stefansson
  • Regeneron (USA): Olivier Denaleau

The research group

View our full staff
Alfonso Buil Demur
Research leader
Martin Dalgaard Villumsen
Senior postdoctoral researcher
Ryan Waples
Senior postdoctoral researcher
Ryan Waples - Senior postdoctoral researcher
Joeri Meijsen
Postdoctoral researcher
Saied Resekhi Deskhordi
PhD student

 

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