Professor Louise V. Wain

Professor Louise Wain

GSK / British Lung Foundation Chair in Respiratory Research

MRC IMPACT Doctoral Training Partnership lead for Leicester
Wellcome Trust Genomic Epidemiology and Public Health Genomics Doctoral Training Programme co-director and theme lead


Genetic Epidemiology Group

Department of Health Sciences
University of Leicester
George Davies Centre, University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH

Tel: 00 44 116 229 7252


My research aims are to understand the genetic factors that contribute to risk of developing respiratory disease. My main areas of focus are Interstitial Lung Disease, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). IPF is a highly debilitating but rare disease that leads to scarring of the lungs and has a median survival time of 3 years. COPD is a common disease for which smoking is the biggest risk factor yet not all smokers develop the disease (and some non-smokers develop it too). These two diseases are also known to exhibit heterogeneity of symptoms and progression with some individuals experiencing stable disease over many months or years, and others experiencing rapid progression and frequent hospitalisations. Identification of the genetic determinants of disease risk and disease progression will improve our understanding of these diseases and guide us to develop new treatments.

ORCID: 0000-0003-4951-1867



Leavy OC, Ma SF, Molyneaux PL, Maher TM, Oldham JM, Flores C, Noth I, Jenkins RG, Dudbridge F, Wain LV, Allen RJ. Proportion of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Risk Explained by Known common Genetic Loci in European Populations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 Mar 15;203(6):775-778. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202008-3211LE.PMID: 33226834; PMCID: PMC7958523.

Dhindsa RS, Mattsson J, Nag A, Wang Q, Wain LV, Allen R, ...., Platt A, Petrovski S. Identification ofa missense variant in SPDL1 associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Commun Biol. 2021 Mar 23;4(1):392. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-01910-y. PMID:33758299; PMCID: PMC7988141.

Fawcett KA, Obeidat M, Melbourne C, Shrine N, Guyatt AL, John C,...., Hall IP, Tobin MD, Wain LV. Variants associated with<i>HHIP</i> expression have sex-differential effects on lung function. WellcomeOpen Res. 2020 Jun 1;5:111. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15846.1. PMID:33728380; PMCID: PMC7938335.

Fadista J, Kraven LM, Karjalainen J, Andrews SJ, Geller F; COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative, Baillie JK, Wain LV, Jenkins RG, Feenstra B. Shared genetic etiology between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19 severity. EBioMedicine. 2021 Mar;65:103277. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103277. Epub 2021 Mar 10. PMID: 33714028; PMCID: PMC7946355.



Allen RJ, Guillen-Guo B,....Jenkins RG, Wain LV. Genome-wide association study of susceptibility to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. bioRxiv: and American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine


Zeggini E, Gloyn AL, Barton AC, Wain LV. Translational genomics and precision medicine: Moving from the lab to the clinic. Science. doi:10.1126/science.aax4588

Shrine N, Guyatt AL, Erzurumluoglu AM.….Hall IP, Tobin MD, Wain LV. New genetic signals for lung function highlight pathways and pleiotropy, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associations across multiple ancestries. Nat Genet doi:10.1038/s41588-018-0321-7 and bioRxiv .

Dudbridge F, Allen RJ, Sheehan NA, Schmidt AF, Lee JC, Jenkins RG, Wain LV, Hingorani AD, Patel RS. Adjustment for index event bias in genome-wide association studies of subsequent events. Nat Commun. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09381-w and bioRxiv doi:


Shrine N, Portelli M.A., John C., …Wain L.V.#, Sayers, I# (2018) Moderate-to-severe asthma in individuals of European ancestry: a genome-wide association study. Lancet Respir Med 10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30389-8 (#joint senior author)

Evangelou E., Warren H.R., ….Wain L.V.#, Elliott P.#, Caulfield M.J.#(2018) Genetic analysis of over one million people identifies 535 novel loci for blood pressure. Nat Genet doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0205-x (#joint senior author)

Adewoye A.B.,....  Hollox E.J.#, Wain L.V.# (2018) Human CCL3L1 copy number variation, gene expression, and the role of the CCL3L1-CCR5 axis in lung function. Wellcome Open Res. 2018 Feb 21;3:13. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.13902.2. eCollection 2018 (# joint senior author)


Allen R.J.,... Wain L.V.#, Jenkins R.G.# (2017) Genetic variants associated with susceptibility to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in people of European ancestry: a genome-wide association study. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 5(11):869-880. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(17)30387-9 (# joint senior author)

Wain L.V., et al (2017) Genome-wide association analyses for lung function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease identify new loci and potential druggable targets. Nat Genet. ePub 6 Feb doi:10.1038/ng.3787.

Ware J.S.*, Wain L.V*. Channavajjhala S.K.* et al (2017) The phenotype and pharmacogenetics of Thiazide Induced Hyponatremia. Journal of Clinical Investigation. doi: 10.1172/JCI89812 (*joint first author)

Wain L.V. et al (2017) Novel blood pressure locus and gene discovery using GWAS and expression datasets from blood and the kidney. Hypertension. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.09438

Gill D, Sheehan NA, .... Wain L.V., Henderson J, Jarvis D, Minelli C. (2017) Age at menarche and lung function: a Mendelian randomization study. Eur J Epidemiol. doi: 10.1007/s10654-017-0272-9.

Warren H.R., ......, Wain L.V., [Consortium authorships], Barnes M.R., Tzoulaki I., Caulfield M.J., Elliott P. (2017) Discovery and validation of 107 blood pressure loci from UK Biobank offers novel biological insights into cardiovascular risk. Nat Genet. doi: 10.1038/ng.3768.

John, C., Soler Artigas M. ……Wain L.V.#, Tobin M.D.# (2017) Genetic variants affecting cross-sectional lung function in adults show little or no effect on longitudinal lung function decline. Thorax. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-208448. (# joint senior authors)


O'Connell J, Sharp K, Shrine N, Wain L, Hall I, Tobin M, Zagury JF, Delaneau O, Marchini J. Haplotype estimation for biobank-scale data sets. Nature Genetics  doi:10.1038/ng.3583 (2016)

Jackson VE, Ntalla I, Sayers I, .... Strachan DP, Hall IP, Tobin MD, Wain LV. Exome-wide analysis of rare coding variation identifies novel associations with COPD and airflow limitation in MOCS3, IFIT3 and SERPINA12. Thorax 71(6):501-9. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-207876 (2016)


Soler Artigas M, Wain LV, Miller S, Kheirallah AK, Huffman JE, Ntalla I, Shrine N, et al. Sixteen new lung function signals identified through 1000 Genomes Project reference panel imputation. Nature Communications 6:8658. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9658 (2015)

Wain, L. V., Shrine, N., Miller, S., Jackson, V. E., Ntalla, I., Artigas, M. S., Billington, C. K., Kheirallah, A. K., Allen, R., Cook, J. P. et al. Novel insights into the genetics of smoking behaviour, lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (UK BiLEVE): a genetic association study in UK Biobank. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 3, 769-781, doi:10.1016/s2213-2600(15)00283-0 (2015).

UK10K Consortium, Walter, K., Min, J. L., Huang, J., Crooks, L., Memari, Y., McCarthy, S., Perry, J. R., Xu, C., Futema, M. et al. The UK10K project identifies rare variants in health and disease. Nature 526, 82-90, doi:10.1038/nature14962 (2015).


Wain, L. V., Sayers, I., Soler Artigas, M., Portelli, M. A., Zeggini, E., Obeidat, M., Sin, D. D., Bosse, Y., Nickle, D., Brandsma, C. A. et al. Whole exome re-sequencing implicates CCDC38 and cilia structure and function in resistance to smoking related airflow obstruction. PLoS Genetics 10, e1004314, doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004314 (2014).

Wain, L. V., Odenthal-Hesse, L., Abujaber, R., Sayers, I., Beardsmore, C., Gaillard, E. A., Chappell, S., Dogaru, C. M., McKeever, T., Guetta-Baranes, T. et al. Copy number variation of the beta-defensin genes in europeans: no supporting evidence for association with lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. PloS one 9, e84192, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084192 (2014).

Wain, L. V. Blood Pressure Genetics and Hypertension: Genome-Wide Analysis and Role of Ancestry. Current Genetic Medicine Reports 2, 13-22 (2014).

Wain, L. V. Rare variants and cardiovascular disease. Briefings in functional genomics, doi:10.1093/bfgp/elu010 (2014).

Loth, D. W., Artigas, M. S., Gharib, S. A., Wain, L. V., Franceschini, N., Koch, B., Pottinger, T. D., Smith, A. V., Duan, Q., Oldmeadow, C. et al. Genome-wide association analysis identifies six new loci associated with forced vital capacity. Nature Genetics, doi:10.1038/ng.3011 (2014).


Wain, L. V., Soler Artigas, M. & Tobin, M. D. What can genetics tell us about the cause of fixed airflow obstruction? Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology 42, 1176-1182, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.03967.x (2012).

Soler Artigas, M., Wain, L. V. & Tobin, M. D. Genome-wide association studies in lung disease. Thorax 67, 271-273, 280, doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200724 (2012).

Wain, L. V., Verwoert, G. C., O'Reilly, P. F., Shi, G., Johnson, T., Johnson, A. D., Bochud, M., Rice, K. M., Henneman, P., Smith, A. V. et al. Genome-wide association study identifies six new loci influencing pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure. Nature Genetics 43, 1005-1011, doi:10.1038/ng.922 (2011).

Wain, L. V. & Tobin, M. D. Copy number variation. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 713, 167-183, doi:10.1007/978-1-60327-416-6_13 (2011).

Soler Artigas, M., Wain, L. V., Repapi, E., Obeidat, M., Sayers, I., Burton, P. R., Johnson, T., Zhao, J. H., Albrecht, E., Dominiczak, A. F. et al. Effect of five genetic variants associated with lung function on the risk of chronic obstructive lung disease, and their joint effects on lung function. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 184, 786-795, doi:10.1164/rccm.201102-0192OC (2011).

Soler Artigas, M., Loth, D. W., Wain, L. V., Gharib, S. A., Obeidat, M., Tang, W., Zhai, G., Zhao, J. H., Smith, A. V., Huffman, J. E. et al. Genome-wide association and large-scale follow up identifies 16 new loci influencing lung function. Nature Genetics 43, 1082-1090, doi:10.1038/ng.941 (2011).

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