Dr Luke Jostins-Dean

Biological Sciences
Postdoctoral Research Fellow


2007: BA in Natural Sciences (Part II Zoology), University of Cambridge
2008: MPhil in Computational Biology, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge
2012: PhD in Statistical Genetics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge

Academic Background

My training is in computational biology and statistical genetics. I did my PhD at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge with Jeff Barrett, during which I deployed various statistical techniques to map genetic variants that predispose people to inflammatory bowel disease. I was also a supervisor at King’s College, where I taught mathematical biology. I moved to Oxford in 2013 to work with Gil McVean at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics on building models of shared genetic risk across different diseases of the immune system. During this time I was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church. In 2017 I became a group leader at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in Oxford, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Christ Church.

Undergraduate Teaching

None at present.

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in understanding the relationship between the genetics of normal variation in the human immune system and the genetics of inflammatory diseases. Almost all inflammatory diseases have a genetic component, with identifiable genetic risk factors that increase or decrease risk of disease, but almost all of these genetic risk factors are also found in healthy individuals. I use genetic, computational and immunological techniques to study the immune pathways that these genetic variants alter, to measure the actual impact that these variants have on the immune systems of healthy individuals, and to learn how this normal variation tips over into disease pathology. The ultimate aim of my research is to discover the immune pathways that trigger and maintain disease, and use this information to develop new treatments.


Huang*, Fang*, Jostins*, Mirkov, Boucher, et al (2017) Fine-mapping inflammatory bowel disease loci to single-variant resolution. Nature. 547(7662):173-178. DOI

Jostins and McVean (2016) Trinculo: Bayesian and frequentist multinomial logistic regression for genome-wide association studies of multi-category phenotypes. Bioinformatics. 32(12):1898-1900 DOI

Cleynen*, Boucher*, Jostins*, Schumm, Zeissig, et al (2016) Inherited determinants of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis phenotypes: a genetic association study. 387(10014):156-167 DOI

Jostins*, Ripke*, Weersma, Duerr, McGovern, et al (2012) Host-microbe interactions have shaped the genetic architecture of inflammatory bowel disease. Nature. 491(7422):119-124. DOI

*these authors contributed equally


In my copious spare time I volunteer as a fundraiser and work party lead at Oxford City Farm and write reviews of National Trust lunches with my wife Laura.