The Molecular Epidemiology Group (MEG-UK) was founded in 1996 as a part of the UKEMS. MEG members represent a multi-disciplinary group of epidemiologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, geneticists, toxicologists, pathologists, nutritionists, clinician scientists, public health scientists and others studying the role of environmental and genetic factors in the aetiology of chronic disease.
MEG thus represents a forum for communication among researchers from diverse fields and aims to bring the best methodologies to bear on the study of the causes and prevention of human disease. MEG recognises that advances in technology provide opportunities and challenges that can only be addressed through such multidisciplinary working.
The Group has organised a number of meetings on topics relating to the use of molecular biomarkers in studying the epidemiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Meetings have generally been held in London but also Manchester, Leeds and the Lake District.
The MEG-UK website can be found here.
What is Molecular Epidemiology?
Molecular epidemiology involves the integration of molecular biomarkers in to population-based studies. Advances in understanding the molecular basis of disease provide opportunities for development of novel biomarkers and the application of these in innovative epidemiological study designs.
The discipline encompasses a number of areas of activity including the following:
• Identifying environmental and genetic risk factors in the aetiology of chronic diseases
• Understanding the underlying diseases mechanisms
• Establishing a better rationale for disease prevention, including both primary and secondary prevention strategies
• Developing biomarkers with diagnostic or prognostic utility in the clinical setting
MEG-UK is dedicated “to promoting a multidisciplinary approach to population-based molecular studies of environmental causes of human disease".
The objectives of the Group include:
• Bringing together epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, clinicians and all others with an interest in molecular epidemiology to pursue a multidisciplinary approach
• Providing a forum for meetings, workshops
• Providing technical and continuing education courses as appropriate
• Promoting the application of quality control in molecular epidemiology studies
• Producing position papers on topics in molecular epidemiology
• Representing the UK on issues relating to molecular epidemiology, both nationally and internationally