Professor Peter Visscher

Professor Peter Visscher FRS, FAA

Professor of Quantitative Genetics, Nuffield Department of Population Health Supernumerary Fellow


After an undergraduate degree in the Netherlands, I undertook postgraduate study at the University of Edinburgh (MSc 1988, PhD in 1991) in animal genetics supervised by Bill Hill FRS and Robin Thompson FRSE. I have held Faculty positions at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Queensland, and Honorary or Affiliate positions at the University of Melbourne, UMCG Groningen and the Karolinska Institute. I am in the process of moving my lab to the Big Data Institute of the University of Oxford.


I have taught modules in statistical genetics and advanced human genetics at postgraduate summer schools in the US and Australia and have trained more than thirty PhD students in quantitative genetics since 1995.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the causes and consequences of human trait variation. My group develops and applies statistical analysis methods to quantify and dissect the contribution of DNA polymorphisms to trait variation in families and populations.

I was among the first to promote, model and apply the use of whole-genome genetic data to make personalised predictions of complex traits from genetic data, and have contributed to the development of advanced statistical methods to make such predictions.The use of “polygenic risk scores” in health care is now being trialled worldwide.


See: (Google Scholar).

Awards and Distinctions

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (2010)

Fellow of the Royal Society (2018)

Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018)

Affiliate Member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (2020)

Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Liège (2020) and Uppsala University (2024)