Genomics and Proteomics for Social Scientists

Presenter(s): Professor Meena Kumari, Dr Yanchun Bao, Anna Dearman

Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), provides rich datasets for studying socially patterned health outcomes at the population level. The datasets available include longitudinal survey data, nurse assessment data and several classes of biological data, including genetic and proteomic data. This resource gives an overview of the study, the biological datasets, and how to access them. It also includes an introduction to how the biological datasets may be used.

An overview of the Understanding Society study and its health datasets

In this video, Professor Meena Kumari describes Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), and its health-related datasets, including the nurse visit variables and the blood-derived biological datasets (genomic, epigenomic, biomarker and proteomic).


   Download transcript    |   Download slides [ 87 Views ]


Biological datasets in Understanding Society

In this video, Senior Research Officer Anna Dearman gives an overview of the biological datasets available in Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), and describes the relevant biology for lay audiences.


   Download transcript    |   Download slides [ 103 Views ]


An introduction to multi-omic data analysis methods in biosocial research

In this video, Senior Research Officer Anna Dearman describes some of the ways in which researchers are using biological “-omics” datasets, and discusses approaches which could be adopted by social scientists.


   Download transcript    |   Download slides [ 625 Views ]


How to access Understanding Society’s biological datasets

In this video, Dr Yanchun Bao describes the process of applying for access to the biological datasets in Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS).


   Download transcript    |   Download slides [ 76 Views ]


About the author

Yanchun is a Lecturer in Statistics at the Department of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Essex. She obtained her PhD from University of Manchester in 2007. Prior to joining the University of Essex in 2014, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester, Brunel University and University College London. She worked as a researcher at the Institute for Social and Economic Research from 2014 to 2019, and again in 2021.

Yanchun’s research interests are developing statistical methodology in health, biology and social science research areas.

Anna is a Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, working for Understanding Society (the UK Household Longitudinal Study; UKHLS) and the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC). She is interested in leveraging different biological and survey datasets to explore the biological underpinnings and causal pathways of socially patterned health outcomes.

Anna has a "wet lab" and biomedical science background. In 2019-2020 she completed a Masters in bioinformatics and then spent time contributing to the effort against the pandemic working as Data Team Lead in covid-19 qPCR diagnostics before starting her career in biosocial research.

Meena is a leading expert in biomarkers and genetics, and has worked to apply insights from these areas to better understand ageing, cardiovascular disease, and health inequalities using the Whitehall II cohort study of British civil servants and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. She remains an Honorary Professor at UCL.

Meena is the topic champion for health and biomarker content and research in Understanding Society and continues to lead research on the social-biological interface and genetic epidemiology as an investigator for the study. She is also a co-investigator in the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC).

Additionally, Professor Kumari leads the Centre for Doctoral Training in Biosocial Research (Soc-B) at Essex University (in collaboration with UCL and University of Manchester).

Primary author profile page