GACT: Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits

Yeast mosaic
Mosaic of S. cerevisiae by Catarina Gadelha
The Centre for Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits (GACT) was established in 2013 to explore and exploit variation in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast).

Through this research, we will increase our understanding of the genetics of complex traits in S cerevisiae and other organisms, from evolutionary aspects of adaptation in populations to understanding the nature of disease. We will find ways to build tools for use in other systems that will enable us to measure complexity and to understand how this complexity interferes with our understanding of biology. And we will also develop better yeast - improving fermentation and leading to new products.

Based within the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology and the Department of Genetics, GACT will interact with mathematicians, informaticians, genomics researchers, systems and synthetic biologists, and geneticists in a multidisciplinary approach to these complex problems.

The Director of GACT is Professor Ed Louis.



Congratulations to Usha Aryal and her University of Leicester Team members for winning the 2014 Biotechnology Yes Competition!! See press releases from the BBSRC and the University of Leicester.


Group members

Group members October 2014

PhD opportunities in GACT:

Investigating cross species plasticity of meiotic protein complexes to modulate recombination using synthetic biology

Developing high density storage and phenotyping assays for high resolution yeast quantitative genetics

Other possibilities:

Research topics include quantitative trait analysis of a number of phenotypes from basic evolutionarily/environmentally important traits (such as those involved in adaptation to particular niches) to more applied (such as robustness in biofuel processes and fermentation properties). We also are actively studying telomeres and subtelomeres in Saccharomyces yeasts and have an interest in subtelomeres of parasites and pathogens. Informal queries can be made to Ed Louis ( and more information can be found at research degrees in genetics.

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Contact GACT

To contact the Centre for Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits, please email Professor Ed Louis

The postal address is:

GACT, Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

Phone: (+44) 0116 229 7813

Contact Details

College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
University of Leicester
Maurice Shock Building
University Road