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DPhil awarded 2013

antonio-berlanga.jpegNow (January 2018): MRC Intermediate Research Fellow in Computational Biology and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London.


Functional genomics of Vitamin D

I am interested in trying to understand gene environment interactions, particularly the effects of vitamin D on genes associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune conditions, and with severe sepsis.

Epidemiological evidence points towards an effect for vitamin D in the susceptibility and clinical course of several diseases. Latitude, diet, migration, month of birth, serum levels of vitamin D and other factors have been shown to influence MS. Work carried out in the Julian Knight and George Ebers groups showed a functional genetic link between vitamin D and the main susceptibility locus for MS, HLA-DRB1*1501 (Ramagopalan et al. PLoS Genetics 2009).

My research aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind these interactions. My background includes a medical degree (UNAM, Mexico) and an MSc (University of Oxford). I am currently completing a DPhil as part of the Knight and Ebers labs at the University of Oxford funded by CONACyT, Mexico and the Multiple Sclerosis Societies of UK and Canada.


Keywords: Vitamin D, Multiple Sclerosis, autoimmunity


  • Ramagopalan SV, Heger A, Berlanga AJ, Maugeri NJ, Lincoln MR, Handunnetthi L, Orton S, Handel AE, Watson CT, Morahan JM, Giovannoni G, Ponting CP, Ebers GC, Knight JC. 2010 A ChIP-seq defined genome-wide map of vitamin D receptor binding: associations with disease and evolution. Genome Research 20, 1352-1360 View in PubMed