Our group plays a key role in teaching and in the genetic data analysis of all the major cohort studies in the UMCG.

Our training activities include involvement in Epidemiology B registration, and providing introductory and advanced courses in genetic epidemiology, and introductory courses in R and how to handle Lifelines data on the high performance computer cluster. We coordinate the genetic studies performed in the Lifelines, TRAILS and GECKO cohorts. The unit staff are active members, leaders or co-leaders of consortia performing (epi)genome-wide association studies on blood pressure, kidney function, inflammatory factors, heart rate variability, fertility and birthweight.


How our research benefits to society

Much of our research has implication for personalised prevention and medicine.

  • The focus will be on building prediction models, including genetic risk scores and gene–environment interaction models for (early) development of type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, glaucoma, obesity, and hypertension. These studies increasingly involve epigenetics as a molecular interface between genes and the environment.
  • We are exploring machine learning algorithms to facilitate precision medicine in the intensive care.
  • We lead the UMCG Genetics Lifelines Initiative (UGLI), with the goal to perform genome-wide genotyping for the entire Lifelines study.


Harold Snieder
Harold Snieder Head of the Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics Unit

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Epidemiology
PO Box 30.001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting Address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Epidemiology
Hanzeplein 1
9713 GZ Groningen

location: Zusterhuis B1 ING 27