Professor Ed Louis


Ed Louis

Director of Centre for Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits

Phone: +44 (0)116 229 7813

FAX: +44 (0)116 252 3378


Personal details


I grew up in upstate New York and spent most of my time outdoors. I left the metropolis of Holland Patent (population 357) to study Biology and Mathematics at Clarkson University. My PhD in Genetics (1986) followed at the University of California at Berkeley where I studied the ‘Population Genetics of Complex Human Traits’. I moved into yeast at Brandeis University as a postdoc and then in 1991, as part of the reverse brain drain, I moved to the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Sciences, where I continued using yeast to study telomeres, genome stability and evolution as well as develop tools for analysing telomeres from various parasites. After a brief stint as an Oxford Don I was rescued from an expanding waistline due to lunch at college by appointment as Professor of Genetics at the University of Leicester in 2000. In 2005 I was temporarily wooed away to the University of Nottingham as Professor of Genome Dynamics. Eight years to the day (1st of April 2013), I returned to Leicester as Director of the Centre for Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits (GACT).


A list of Ed's recent publications can be found by clicking on the link below:


My research has focused on genetic variation and genome stability in yeast with a particular interest in the ends of the chromosomes or subtelomeres. This has developed in several directions over the years and has included: reproductive isolation and speciation in yeast, chromosome evolution in yeast, genome stability in various mutant backgrounds, telomeres without telomerase, subtelomeres in parasites, genome dynamics over many time scales, population genomics and phenotypic variation and most recently in the quantitative genetic analysis of complex traits.

PhD opportunities

12 PhDs in Yeast Biotechnology

12 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions are now available in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions European Joint Doctoral Programme YEASTDOC.

We have 12 positions available in leading European Groups in a Marie-Sklowodoska training network. This is a high quality programmes that deliver comprehensive training in many aspects of yeast biotechnology – as well as an exciting research project that includes interaction with industry partners. Applicants from any nationality anywhere in the world are eligible to apply and the application deadline is November 13th. - see

Centre for Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits

Other responsibilties

Organiser, EMBO Conf Series ‘Comparative Genomics of Eukaryotic Microorganisms’, 2009-13

Trustee of the Frozen Ark Charity

Board of Directors of the Earlham Institute

Member of the Society of General Microbiology Eukaryotic Division Committee

Member of research committees for the Royal Society, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal), and the ANR (France)

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Contact Details

Department of Genetics
University of Leicester

Adrian Building
University Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3374
E Mail:

Head of Department
Professor Jacqui Shaw

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