Peter Donnelly has been Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics since 2007, and Professor of Statistical Science in Oxford since 1996. He has played a major role in the recent advances in our understanding of the genetics of common human diseases. He leads two large UK-wide consortia, the Wellcome Trust Control Consortium (WTCCCS) and its successor WTCCC2, between them studying 25 diseases and conditions in more than 80,000 samples.
Prior to that he was centrally involved in the HapMap project, the successor to the human genome project which documented and studied fine-scale patterns of genetic variation in four human populations.
Donnelly’s training and early work were in mathematics and statistics, applied to population genetics and evolution. Over about the last decade he focussed on developing and applying statistical methods to extract as much information as possible from modern, genomic-scale, data in biomedical genetics, with his group responsible for several widely applied methods.
"It alerts me to new areas of debate, and gives thought-provoking new angles on topics I thought I already knew well. Altogether it's a wonderful intellectual tonic, which cheers up the dog days of November."
Ivan Hewett, music critic, Daily Telegraph