School of Mathematics

Chancellor's Fellowship for Dr Sjoerd Beentjes

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Dr Sjoerd Beentjes was one of the researchers from the University of Edinburgh to receive a Chancellor's Fellowship. This is a 5-year tenure track fellowship focused on innovative research; designed to support early career researchers and innovators to develop their careers in a supportive, world-leading environment.

The Fellows will have a track record of high-quality research, innovation and impact. They will build upon existing research communities and create new ones. Over time, they will be trained in and take up the full range of core academic activities, including teaching, academic leadership and knowledge exchange.

Sjoerd is a pure mathematician who received his PhD in algebraic geometry at the University of Edinburgh. In recent years, he has become interested in applications of pure mathematics and mathematical statistics to causal questions in population biomedicine and public health policy more generally.

During his Chancellor's Fellowship he aims to develop and apply techniques in Targeted Learning, a subfield of mathematical statistics, to identify genetic variants that causally lead to trait or disease, as well as identify the molecular mechanisms mediating this relationship. Such causal genetic support is crucial for efficient drug discovery because it doubles the success rate of drugs in clinical development.

Extracting precise answers to causal biological questions from large population-scale data requires a cross-disciplinary approach. Sjoerd will collaborate closely with mathematical statisticians as well as geneticists from Edinburgh's MRC Human Genetics Unit to address these questions.