Kathryn McGurk

Kathryn McGurk


Personal profile


For up to date details, please see my personal page at Imperial College London: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/k.mcgurk

I am a British Heart Foundation Immediate PBSR Fellow and Assistant Supervisor with the Cardiovascular Genomics group at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK. I hold an honorary contract with Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK, to understand the impact of genetics in Cardiovascular clinical settings. 

I am a Geneticist and Bioinformatician with a background in metabolomics, common and rare DNA variant genomics, and large data set analyses. I investigate the role of genetic factors of cardiovascular disease by analysing the genomic and outcome data of 500,000 volunteers from the UK Biobank, 100,000 patients with rare disease or cancer in the 100,000 Genomes Project (Genomics England), and patient cohorts. I am at the intersection of genomic analyses with Prof. James Ware and deep learning imaging analyses with Prof. Declan O'Regan.

After my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences with a 2-year moderatorship in Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, I undertook a 4-year Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences, funded by the Medical Research Council, UK, entitled “Heritability and family-based GWAS analyses to discover novel lipidomic biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease” with Prof. Bernard Keavney and Prof. Anna Nicolaou at the University of Manchester, UK. I was afforded 'time out of programme' research experiences with the University of Cape Town, South Africa, under Prof. Bongani Mayosi and Prof. Mark Engel, and with Stoller Biomarker Discovery Center, Manchester, UK, under Prof. Anthony Whetton and Prof. Nophar Geifman.

I lecture for the MSc Genomic Medicine course at Imperial College London. I continue to lecture with the University of Manchester in pharmacogenetics as an Honorary Lecturer for the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry.


20. The penetrance of rare variants in cardiomyopathy-associated genes: a cross-sectional approach to estimate penetrance for secondary findings.
McGurk K., et al. Mar 2023, medRxiv.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.03.15.23287112

19. A phenotypic taxonomy of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Curran L., de Marvao A., Inglese P., McGurk K., et al. Mar 2023, medRxiv.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.03.11.23285908

18. Evaluation of polygenic score for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in the general population and across clinical settings.
Zheng S., Jurgens S., McGurk K., et al. Mar 2023, medRxiv.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.03.14.23286621

17. Large scale genome-wide association analyses identify novel genetic loci and mechanisms in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Tadros R., et al. Jan 2023, medRxiv.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.01.28.23285147

16. Identification of an increased lifetime risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in UK Biobank participants with scoliosis.
Santofimio V., ..., McGurk K., Nov 2022, Open Heart.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.11.21.22282578

15. Environmental and genetic predictors of human cardiovascular ageing.
Shah M., ..., McGurk K., Bender C., Freitag D., O'Regan D., Oct 2022, medRxiv.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.10.03.22280042

14. Human Hereditary Cardiomyopathy Shares a Genetic Substrate With Bicuspid Aortic Valve.
Siguero-Álvarez M, et al., Nov 2022, Circulation.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.058767

13. Dilated cardiomyopathy – details make the difference.
McGurk K. & Halliday B., Jun 2022, Eur J Heart Fail.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.2586

12. Genetic analyses of circulating PUFA-derived mediators identifies heritable dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid species.
McGurk K., et al., Jun 2022, Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2022.106638

11. Genetic and environmental determinants of diastolic heart function. 
Thanaj M., Meikle J., McGurk K., et al., Apr 2022, Nature Cardio. Res.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s44161-022-00048-2

10. Effect of taurine administration on symptoms, severity, or clinical outcome of dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure in humans: a systematic review.
McGurk K., et al., Feb 2022, Wellcome Open Res.
doi: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17505.2

9. Correspondence on “ACMG SF v3.0 list for reporting of secondary findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing: a policy statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)” by Miller et al.
McGurk K., et al., Nov 2021, Genet. Med.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gim.2021.10.020

8. Phenotypic expression and outcomes in individuals with rare genetic variants of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
de Marvao A., McGurk K., et al., Sep 2021, JACC.
doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.07.017

7. Circulating ceramides as biomarkers of cardiovascular disease: evidence from phenotypic and genomic studies.
McGurk K., et al., May 2021, Atherosclerosis
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.04.021

6. Heritability and family-based GWAS analyses of the N-acyl ethanolamine and ceramide plasma lipidome.
McGurk K., et al., Mar 2021, Hum. Mol. Genet.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab002

5. Systematic large-scale assessment of the genetic architecture of left ventricular noncompaction reveals diverse etiologies.  
Mazzarotto, F., Hawley, M., Beltrami, M., Beekman, L., de Marvao, A., McGurk, K., et al., Jan 2021, Genet. Med.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-01049-x

4. Heritability of haemodynamics in the ascending aorta.
McGurk K., et al., Sep 2020, Scientific Reports.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71354-7

3. The use of missing values in proteomic data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry to enable disease activity discrimination. 
McGurk, K., et al., Apr 2020, Bioinformatics.

2. The Open Science of Atrial Fibrillation. 
Keavney, B. & McGurk, K., Jan 2020, Circulation research. 126, p. 210-211
doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316357

1. Marked variation in heritability estimates of left ventricular mass depending on modality of measurement. 
Nethononda, R., McGurk, K., et al., Sep 2019, Scientific Reports.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49961-w 


2020: Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

2016: “Design and Analysis of Genetic-Based Association Studies” at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

2016: “Introduction to R” at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, UK.

2015: BA. Hons. in Natural Sciences with a Moderatorship in Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

2011: Leaving Certificate, Wesley College Dublin, Ireland. Chemistry (A*) Biology (A).

Prizes and awards

2015: President's Doctoral Scholar Award from the University of Manchester

2016: Awarded an MRC Flexible Training Supplement to attend the competitively placed “Design and Analysis of Genetic-Based Association Studies” at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge

2017: Poster Presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2017, Barcelona, Spain

            Awarded “Best Poster for Highest Scoring Abstract”

            Awarded “Basic Sciences Travel Grant”

2017: Poster Presentation at the British Cardiovascular Society Spring Meeting, Manchester, UK

            Awarded “Best Poster Presentation”

2017: Poster Presentation at the University of Manchester DPO Postgraduate Showcase

            Awarded “2nd Best Poster Presentation”

2017 and 2018: Selected for interactive touch screen poster presentation at University of Manchester PhD Conference

2018: Oral Presentation at the University of Manchester DiMeN-MRC Conference

            Awarded "Best Oral Presentation"

2018: Poster Presentation at the American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA

            Awarded Travel Grant from FBMH Doctoral Academy, University of Manchester

            Awarded Travel Grant from Manchester Doctoral College, University of Manchester

            Awarded Travel Grant from Cayman Chemical, Michigan, USA

2018: Awarded a month-long research experience to undertake genomics analyses of quantiative traits in the RHDGEN South African Cohort at the University of Cape Town, funded by the Newton Fund

2019: Awarded MRC Flexible Training Supplement for a 3-month out-of-programme placement with Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre, Manchester, UK

2019: Poster presentation at European Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, Gothenburg, Sweden

            Awarded Travel Grant from The Company of Biologists, Cambridge, UK

2019: Oral presentation at the University of Manchester Division of Cardiovascular Sciences Showcase

            Awarded "Best Oral Presentation"



Activities and esteem

2019: Co-founder of, and awarded funding for, "UoMStories"- a TED talk/Humans of New York-style event to inspire all PhD students of UoM

              Due to the success of the event, we have secured funding for UoMStories 2020

              Awarded "Highly Commended" for UoM Making a Difference Awards in Social Responsibility

2016-present: Widening Participation Fellow with the University of Manchester    

2016-present: Student Liaison for the DGEMBE genetic exchange programme with the University of Cape Town, South Africa, sponsored by the Newton Fund

2018: Competitively chosen to attend “Leadership in Action” 3-day course, UoM

2015-2017: Postgraduate Student Representative for the Division of Cardiovascular  Sciences and the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry                                  
             Awarded “Outstanding Student Representation for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health”

2017: Team awarded 2nd place at Northern Biotech Case Consulting Competition, Manchester, UK
             Awarded “Best Presenter”

2015-2017: Manager of  the Annual Division of Cardiovascular Conferences 2016 and 2017                              

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Areas of expertise

  • QH426 Genetics


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