Tom Gaunt is Professor of Health and Biomedical Informatics in the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol. Following an undergraduate degree in Biology he worked as a researcher at the University of Southampton, during which time he completed his PhD in Human Genetics. In 2005 he was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship and in 2006 secured a lectureship in bioinformatics and molecular genetics at the University of Bristol. In Bristol he has built a research team working in molecular epidemiology and biomedical informatics, co-leading a data mining and bioinformatics theme in the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) from 2012-2017. In 2018 he was awarded a new MRC programme within the MRC IEU, with a focus on data mining approaches in population health science.
Tom leads a programme of research that applies informatics approaches to investigate the relationships between risk factors and health outcomes. His team uses population cohort data and software tools developed by the MRC IEU to build causal networks for thousands of risk factors and diseases. These causal networks are combined with an array of other biological knowledge, using literature mining, molecular pathways and drug target databases. His programme is building a comprehensive, open graph database (EpiGraphDB) containing these data. EpiGraphDB will be used to develop and apply novel data mining approaches to better understand the mechanisms of disease and identify novel intervention targets.