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Dr Luke C. Pilling

Dr Luke C. Pilling

Research Fellow in Genomic Epidemiology

01392 406746

RILD Building L3/24

Luke joined the Epidemiology and Public Health group here at the University of Exeter Medical School in November 2010. The group’s research focuses on conventional and biochemical risk factors of ageing and age-related diseases. Their aim is to determine the underlying causes and mechanisms, and to inform clinical decision making and public health policy.

His role is to develop and apply bioinformatic and statistical techniques to genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic data from human population studies to explore the molecular mechanisms of ageing and age-related disease.

Broad research specialisms

Efficiently analyzing genetic and other large-scale -omic data requires the use of high-performance computing (as opposed to desktop computing), and as such he is proficient in the use of several scripting and statistical languages commonly used in the bioinformatic and epidemiologic fields. He is also proficient in the use of several statistical applications and uses these to generate custom server-side, high-throughput analysis pipelines. These include;

  • R,
  • Perl,
  • Bash/Linux shell,
  • STATA,
  • SPSS,
  • HTML/CSS,
  • MySQL,
  • PHP.

Qualifications

  • 2009 BSc Biological Sciences (Exeter)
  • 2010 MSc Medical Informatics (Exeter)
  • 2015 PhD in Genomic Epidemiology (PCMD/UEMS)

Career

  • 2010-2012 Associate Research Fellow in Genomic Epidemiology, PCMD
  • 2012-2016 Associate Research Fellow in Genomic Epidemiology, UEMS
  • 2016-        Research Fellow in Genomic Epidemiology, UEMS

Links

Research

Research interests

Using data from the InCHIANTI population study of ageing I have been looking into differential gene expression patterns in peripheral blood leukocytes that are associated with ageing and its pathologies. Using individual phenotype information such as cognitive performance, frailty, various metabolic and anatomic traits, and genome-wide expression data we can statistically assess differences in gene expression profiles between individuals with different characteristics, adjusted for potential confounding factors. In doing so we hope to reveal underlying cellular mechanisms linked to age-related diseases and phenotypes.

International collaborations with other large human cohorts, including the Framingham Heart Study and Rotterdam Study (as well as the CHARGE consortium), are becoming a major part of these analyses, increasing the robustness of our findings and strengthening ties with fellow researches in this fast-moving field.

Research projects

  • Genetics, transcriptomics, epigenetics and ageing
  • Gene expression and alternative splicing in ageing
  • Ageing and its related pathologies
  • Identfication of risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and dementia

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Moore AZ, Hernandez DG, Tanaka T, Pilling LC, Nalls MA, Bandinelli S, Singleton AB, Ferrucci L (2016). Change in Epigenome-Wide DNA Methylation over 9 Years and Subsequent Mortality: Results from the InCHIANTI Study. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 71(8), 1029-1035. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pilling LC, Atkins JL, Bowman K, Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Beaumont RN, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, Wood AR, et al (2016). Human longevity is influenced by many genetic variants: evidence from 75,000 UK Biobank participants. Aging (Albany NY), 8(3), 547-560. Abstract.  Author URL.
Demirkan A, Lahti J, Direk N, Viktorin A, Lunetta KL, Terracciano A, Nalls MA, Tanaka T, Hek K, Fornage M, et al (2016). Somatic, positive and negative domains of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Psychol Med, 46(8), 1613-1623. Abstract.  Author URL.
Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Henley W, Hernandez DG, Singleton AB, Bandinelli S, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, Harries LW, et al (2013). Towards a gene expression biomarker set for human biological age. Aging Cell, 12(2), 324-326. Abstract.  Full text.
Harries LW, Pilling LC, Hernandez LDG, Bradley-Smith R, Henley W, Singleton AB, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2012). CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein-beta expression in vivo is associated with muscle strength. Aging Cell, 11(2), 262-268. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Harries LW, Powell J, Llewellyn DJ, Ferrucci L, Melzer D (2012). Genomics and successful aging: grounds for renewed optimism?. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 67(5), 511-519. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Pilling LC, Atkins JL, Duff MO, Beaumont RN, Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Kuo C-L, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, et al (2017). Red blood cell distribution width: Genetic evidence for aging pathways in 116,666 volunteers. PLoS One, 12(9). Abstract.  Author URL.
Moore AZ, Hernandez DG, Tanaka T, Pilling LC, Nalls MA, Bandinelli S, Singleton AB, Ferrucci L (2016). Change in Epigenome-Wide DNA Methylation over 9 Years and Subsequent Mortality: Results from the InCHIANTI Study. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 71(8), 1029-1035. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lee BP, Pilling LC, Emond F, Flurkey K, Harrison DE, Yuan R, Peters LL, Kuchel GA, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2016). Changes in the expression of splicing factor transcripts and variations in alternative splicing are associated with lifespan in mice and humans. Aging Cell, 15(5), 903-913. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ibrahim-Verbaas CA, Bressler J, Debette S, Schuur M, Smith AV, Bis JC, Davies G, Trompet S, Smith JA, Wolf C, et al (2016). GWAS for executive function and processing speed suggests involvement of the CADM2 gene. Mol Psychiatry, 21(2), 189-197. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pilling LC, Joehanes R, Kacprowski T, Peters M, Jansen R, Karasik D, Kiel DP, Harries LW, Teumer A, Powell J, et al (2016). Gene transcripts associated with muscle strength: a CHARGE meta-analysis of 7,781 persons. Physiol Genomics, 48(1), 1-11. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Atkins JL, Bowman K, Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Beaumont RN, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, Wood AR, et al (2016). Human longevity is influenced by many genetic variants: evidence from 75,000 UK Biobank participants. Aging (Albany NY), 8(3), 547-560. Abstract.  Author URL.
Demirkan A, Lahti J, Direk N, Viktorin A, Lunetta KL, Terracciano A, Nalls MA, Tanaka T, Hek K, Fornage M, et al (2016). Somatic, positive and negative domains of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Psychol Med, 46(8), 1613-1623. Abstract.  Author URL.
Huan T, Esko T, Peters MJ, Pilling LC, Schramm K, Schurmann C, Chen BH, Liu C, Joehanes R, Johnson AD, et al (2015). A meta-analysis of gene expression signatures of blood pressure and hypertension. PLoS Genet, 11(3). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Blackwell J, Harries LW, Pilling LC, Ferrucci L, Jones A, Melzer D (2015). Changes in CEBPB expression in circulating leukocytes following eccentric elbow-flexion exercise. Journal of Physiological Sciences, 65(1), 145-150. Abstract.
Blackwell J, Harries LW, Pilling LC, Ferrucci L, Jones A, Melzer D (2015). Changes in CEBPB expression in circulating leukocytes following eccentric elbow-flexion exercise. J Physiol Sci, 65(1), 145-150. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Holly AC, Grellscheid S, van de Walle P, Dolan D, Pilling LC, Daniels DJ, von Zglinicki T, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, Harries LW, et al (2015). Comparison of senescence-associated miRNAs in primary skin and lung fibroblasts. Biogerontology, 16(4), 423-434. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pfeiffer L, Wahl S, Pilling LC, Reischl E, Sandling JK, Kunze S, Holdt LM, Kretschmer A, Schramm K, Adamski J, et al (2015). DNA methylation of lipid-related genes affects blood lipid levels. Circ Cardiovasc Genet, 8(2), 334-342. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Joehanes R, Melzer D, Harries LW, Henley W, Dupuis J, Lin H, Mitchell M, Hernandez D, Ying S-X, et al (2015). Gene expression markers of age-related inflammation in two human cohorts. Exp Gerontol, 70, 37-45. Abstract.  Author URL.
Galloway TS, Fletcher T, Thomas OJ, Lee BP, Pilling LC, Harries LW (2015). PFOA and PFOS are associated with reduced expression of the parathyroid hormone 2 receptor (PTH2R) gene in women. Chemosphere, 120, 555-562. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Peters MJ, Joehanes R, Pilling LC, Schurmann C, Conneely KN, Powell J, Reinmaa E, Sutphin GL, Zhernakova A, Schramm K, et al (2015). The transcriptional landscape of age in human peripheral blood. Nat Commun, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Winiarski BK, Cope N, Alexander M, Pilling LC, Warren S, Acheson N, Gutowski NJ, Whatmore JL (2014). Clinical Relevance of Increased Endothelial and Mesothelial Expression of Proangiogenic Proteases and VEGFA in the Omentum of Patients with Metastatic Ovarian High-Grade Serous Carcinoma. Transl Oncol, 7(2), 267-276.e4. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Holly AC, Pilling LC, Hernandez D, Lee BP, Singleton A, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, Harries LW (2014). Splicing factor 3B1 hypomethylation is associated with altered SF3B1 transcript expression in older humans. Mech Ageing Dev, 135, 50-56. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lin H, Joehanes R, Pilling LC, Dupuis J, Lunetta KL, Ying S-X, Benjamin EJ, Hernandez D, Singleton A, Melzer D, et al (2014). Whole blood gene expression and interleukin-6 levels. Genomics, 104(6 Pt B), 490-495. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Hek K, Demirkan A, Lahti J, Terracciano A, Teumer A, Cornelis MC, Amin N, Bakshis E, Baumert J, Ding J, et al (2013). A genome-wide association study of depressive symptoms. Biol Psychiatry, 73(7), 667-678. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Harries LW, Pilling LC, Lampron A, Rivest S, Melzer D (2013). Alzheimer’s pathology: should peripheral monocytes and CCR2 take center stage?. Neurodegenerative Disease Management, 3(1), 9-12.
Fletcher T, Galloway TS, Melzer D, Holcroft P, Cipelli R, Pilling LC, Mondal D, Luster M, Harries LW (2013). Associations between PFOA, PFOS and changes in the expression of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism in humans. Environ Int, 57-58, 2-10. Abstract.  Author URL.
Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Fellows AC, Tanaka T, Ferrucci L, Harries LW (2013). Changes in splicing factor expression are associated with advancing age in man. Mech Ageing Dev, 134(9), 356-366. Abstract.  Author URL.
Melzer D, Pilling LC, Fellows AD, Holly AC, Harries LW, Ferrucci L (2013). Gene Expression Biomarkers and Longevity. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 33(1), 233-258.
Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Henley W, Hernandez DG, Singleton AB, Bandinelli S, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, Harries LW, et al (2013). Towards a gene expression biomarker set for human biological age. Aging Cell, 12(2), 324-326. Abstract.  Full text.
Dutta A, Henley W, Pilling LC, Wallace RB, Melzer D (2013). Uric acid measurement improves prediction of cardiovascular mortality in later life. J Am Geriatr Soc, 61(3), 319-326. Abstract.  Author URL.
Harries LW, Fellows AD, Pilling LC, Hernandez D, Singleton A, Bandinelli S, Guralnik J, Powell J, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2012). Advancing age is associated with gene expression changes resembling mTOR inhibition: evidence from two human populations. Mech Ageing Dev, 133(8), 556-562. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Fellows AD, Holly AC, Pilling LC, Melzer D, Harries LW (2012). Age related changes in mTOR-related gene expression in two primary human cell lines. Healthy Aging Research
Harries LW, Pilling LC, Hernandez LDG, Bradley-Smith R, Henley W, Singleton AB, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2012). CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein-beta expression in vivo is associated with muscle strength. Aging Cell, 11(2), 262-268. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Harries LW, Powell J, Llewellyn DJ, Ferrucci L, Melzer D (2012). Genomics and successful aging: grounds for renewed optimism?. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 67(5), 511-519. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Harries LW, Bradley-Smith RM, Llewellyn DJ, Pilling LC, Fellows A, Henley W, Hernandez D, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Singleton A, et al (2012). Leukocyte CCR2 expression is associated with mini-mental state examination score in older adults. Rejuvenation Res, 15(4), 395-404. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Melzer D, Harries L, Pilling L, Bandinelli S, Guralnik JM, Singleton A, Hernandez D, Ferrucci L (2011). CONFIRMATION OF MOUSE MODEL OF SARCOPENIA BY GENOME WIDE EXPRESSION STUDY IN HUMANS. GERONTOLOGIST, 51, 506-507. Author URL.

Publications by year


2017

Pilling LC, Atkins JL, Duff MO, Beaumont RN, Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Kuo C-L, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, et al (2017). Red blood cell distribution width: Genetic evidence for aging pathways in 116,666 volunteers. PLoS One, 12(9). Abstract.  Author URL.

2016

Moore AZ, Hernandez DG, Tanaka T, Pilling LC, Nalls MA, Bandinelli S, Singleton AB, Ferrucci L (2016). Change in Epigenome-Wide DNA Methylation over 9 Years and Subsequent Mortality: Results from the InCHIANTI Study. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 71(8), 1029-1035. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lee BP, Pilling LC, Emond F, Flurkey K, Harrison DE, Yuan R, Peters LL, Kuchel GA, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2016). Changes in the expression of splicing factor transcripts and variations in alternative splicing are associated with lifespan in mice and humans. Aging Cell, 15(5), 903-913. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ibrahim-Verbaas CA, Bressler J, Debette S, Schuur M, Smith AV, Bis JC, Davies G, Trompet S, Smith JA, Wolf C, et al (2016). GWAS for executive function and processing speed suggests involvement of the CADM2 gene. Mol Psychiatry, 21(2), 189-197. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pilling LC, Joehanes R, Kacprowski T, Peters M, Jansen R, Karasik D, Kiel DP, Harries LW, Teumer A, Powell J, et al (2016). Gene transcripts associated with muscle strength: a CHARGE meta-analysis of 7,781 persons. Physiol Genomics, 48(1), 1-11. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Atkins JL, Bowman K, Jones SE, Tyrrell J, Beaumont RN, Ruth KS, Tuke MA, Yaghootkar H, Wood AR, et al (2016). Human longevity is influenced by many genetic variants: evidence from 75,000 UK Biobank participants. Aging (Albany NY), 8(3), 547-560. Abstract.  Author URL.
Demirkan A, Lahti J, Direk N, Viktorin A, Lunetta KL, Terracciano A, Nalls MA, Tanaka T, Hek K, Fornage M, et al (2016). Somatic, positive and negative domains of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. Psychol Med, 46(8), 1613-1623. Abstract.  Author URL.

2015

Huan T, Esko T, Peters MJ, Pilling LC, Schramm K, Schurmann C, Chen BH, Liu C, Joehanes R, Johnson AD, et al (2015). A meta-analysis of gene expression signatures of blood pressure and hypertension. PLoS Genet, 11(3). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Blackwell J, Harries LW, Pilling LC, Ferrucci L, Jones A, Melzer D (2015). Changes in CEBPB expression in circulating leukocytes following eccentric elbow-flexion exercise. Journal of Physiological Sciences, 65(1), 145-150. Abstract.
Blackwell J, Harries LW, Pilling LC, Ferrucci L, Jones A, Melzer D (2015). Changes in CEBPB expression in circulating leukocytes following eccentric elbow-flexion exercise. J Physiol Sci, 65(1), 145-150. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Holly AC, Grellscheid S, van de Walle P, Dolan D, Pilling LC, Daniels DJ, von Zglinicki T, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, Harries LW, et al (2015). Comparison of senescence-associated miRNAs in primary skin and lung fibroblasts. Biogerontology, 16(4), 423-434. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pfeiffer L, Wahl S, Pilling LC, Reischl E, Sandling JK, Kunze S, Holdt LM, Kretschmer A, Schramm K, Adamski J, et al (2015). DNA methylation of lipid-related genes affects blood lipid levels. Circ Cardiovasc Genet, 8(2), 334-342. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Joehanes R, Melzer D, Harries LW, Henley W, Dupuis J, Lin H, Mitchell M, Hernandez D, Ying S-X, et al (2015). Gene expression markers of age-related inflammation in two human cohorts. Exp Gerontol, 70, 37-45. Abstract.  Author URL.
Galloway TS, Fletcher T, Thomas OJ, Lee BP, Pilling LC, Harries LW (2015). PFOA and PFOS are associated with reduced expression of the parathyroid hormone 2 receptor (PTH2R) gene in women. Chemosphere, 120, 555-562. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Peters MJ, Joehanes R, Pilling LC, Schurmann C, Conneely KN, Powell J, Reinmaa E, Sutphin GL, Zhernakova A, Schramm K, et al (2015). The transcriptional landscape of age in human peripheral blood. Nat Commun, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2014

Winiarski BK, Cope N, Alexander M, Pilling LC, Warren S, Acheson N, Gutowski NJ, Whatmore JL (2014). Clinical Relevance of Increased Endothelial and Mesothelial Expression of Proangiogenic Proteases and VEGFA in the Omentum of Patients with Metastatic Ovarian High-Grade Serous Carcinoma. Transl Oncol, 7(2), 267-276.e4. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Holly AC, Pilling LC, Hernandez D, Lee BP, Singleton A, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, Harries LW (2014). Splicing factor 3B1 hypomethylation is associated with altered SF3B1 transcript expression in older humans. Mech Ageing Dev, 135, 50-56. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lin H, Joehanes R, Pilling LC, Dupuis J, Lunetta KL, Ying S-X, Benjamin EJ, Hernandez D, Singleton A, Melzer D, et al (2014). Whole blood gene expression and interleukin-6 levels. Genomics, 104(6 Pt B), 490-495. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2013

Hek K, Demirkan A, Lahti J, Terracciano A, Teumer A, Cornelis MC, Amin N, Bakshis E, Baumert J, Ding J, et al (2013). A genome-wide association study of depressive symptoms. Biol Psychiatry, 73(7), 667-678. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Harries LW, Pilling LC, Lampron A, Rivest S, Melzer D (2013). Alzheimer’s pathology: should peripheral monocytes and CCR2 take center stage?. Neurodegenerative Disease Management, 3(1), 9-12.
Fletcher T, Galloway TS, Melzer D, Holcroft P, Cipelli R, Pilling LC, Mondal D, Luster M, Harries LW (2013). Associations between PFOA, PFOS and changes in the expression of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism in humans. Environ Int, 57-58, 2-10. Abstract.  Author URL.
Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Fellows AC, Tanaka T, Ferrucci L, Harries LW (2013). Changes in splicing factor expression are associated with advancing age in man. Mech Ageing Dev, 134(9), 356-366. Abstract.  Author URL.
Melzer D, Pilling LC, Fellows AD, Holly AC, Harries LW, Ferrucci L (2013). Gene Expression Biomarkers and Longevity. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 33(1), 233-258.
Holly AC, Melzer D, Pilling LC, Henley W, Hernandez DG, Singleton AB, Bandinelli S, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, Harries LW, et al (2013). Towards a gene expression biomarker set for human biological age. Aging Cell, 12(2), 324-326. Abstract.  Full text.
Dutta A, Henley W, Pilling LC, Wallace RB, Melzer D (2013). Uric acid measurement improves prediction of cardiovascular mortality in later life. J Am Geriatr Soc, 61(3), 319-326. Abstract.  Author URL.

2012

Harries LW, Fellows AD, Pilling LC, Hernandez D, Singleton A, Bandinelli S, Guralnik J, Powell J, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2012). Advancing age is associated with gene expression changes resembling mTOR inhibition: evidence from two human populations. Mech Ageing Dev, 133(8), 556-562. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Fellows AD, Holly AC, Pilling LC, Melzer D, Harries LW (2012). Age related changes in mTOR-related gene expression in two primary human cell lines. Healthy Aging Research
Harries LW, Pilling LC, Hernandez LDG, Bradley-Smith R, Henley W, Singleton AB, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Melzer D, et al (2012). CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein-beta expression in vivo is associated with muscle strength. Aging Cell, 11(2), 262-268. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pilling LC, Harries LW, Powell J, Llewellyn DJ, Ferrucci L, Melzer D (2012). Genomics and successful aging: grounds for renewed optimism?. J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci, 67(5), 511-519. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Harries LW, Bradley-Smith RM, Llewellyn DJ, Pilling LC, Fellows A, Henley W, Hernandez D, Guralnik JM, Bandinelli S, Singleton A, et al (2012). Leukocyte CCR2 expression is associated with mini-mental state examination score in older adults. Rejuvenation Res, 15(4), 395-404. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2011

Melzer D, Harries L, Pilling L, Bandinelli S, Guralnik JM, Singleton A, Hernandez D, Ferrucci L (2011). CONFIRMATION OF MOUSE MODEL OF SARCOPENIA BY GENOME WIDE EXPRESSION STUDY IN HUMANS. GERONTOLOGIST, 51, 506-507. Author URL.

Luke assists with the Research SSU teaching of UEMS medical students - the students spend 3 weeks with our group learning the principals of research in epidemiology, and applying research techniques to real data to test hypotheses. This gives the prospective medical graduates an idea of how research is conducted, and how this might eventually be translated into medical practice.

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