Dr Marie-Anne Shaw

Associate Professor of Human Genetics

0113 206 4655

Location: Level 8, Clinical Sciences Building

Teaching Commitments: Programme Leader ‘MSc Molecular Medicine’


I was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Leeds in 1995. Although based in the School of Biology until 2012, I have recently moved to the Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at St James’s University Hospital.

My research interests centre on analysis of human genetic susceptibility to heterogeneous, complex and multifactorial traits/diseases. I have brought together large field and laboratory datasets for genetic analysis, mainly from Africa and South America. I have been interested in data analysis throughout my career. Ongoing projects include:

  • Non-infectious disease: the pharmacogenetic disorder malignant hyperthermia. This work started with my appointment at Leeds. The Malignant Hyperthermia Unit at Leeds, led by my collaborator Professor Hopkins (Director of LIBACS), is the UK testing centre and the largest unit for this disease worldwide. This type of work is being expanded to consider genetic control of responsiveness to drugs and the environment e.g. heat and dietary additives.
  • Infectious diseases: including susceptibility to cutaneous leishmaniasis, helminth infections and malaria. This work is a development of work carried out prior to my time at Leeds. All projects involve immunogenetics. Banks of  approximately 3,500 paired DNA and serum samples in total have been collected. For infectious disease, the days of considering host genetics in isolation are over. It is now essential to consider host and pathogen diversity in tandem, together with multiple environmental factors. This necessitates strong collaborative networks of field, laboratory and analytical researchers. I have strong international collaborations for a number of infectious diseases.