Dr Una Fairbrother

Dr Fairbrother is the Head of Biosciences for the School of Human Sciences.  She is also the cluster group leader for applied biology, course leader for Biological Science BSc (Hons) and Medical Bioscience BSc (Hons), and also serves as principal lecturer in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Photo of female lecturer Dr Una Fairbrother

Dr Una Fairbrother

Current position

  • Head of Biosciences, London Metropolitan University, 2016 to present
  • Academic leader for Applied Biological Science, London Metropolitan University, 2013-2016
  • Principal lecturer for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2009-2013
  • Senior lecturer for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2006-2009

Membership of professional bodies


  • PhD: ‘DMDL, an autosomal homologue of X linked dystrophin; gene expression and cDNA cloning' Human Biochemical Genetics Unit / UCL (1989-1993)
  • BSc Biochemistry, King's College, University of London (1984-1987)

Recent research awards

  • £3,000 award from London Metropolitan University for collaboration with FOSCAL: Colombian Children’s Hospital ‘Obesity and children’ DNA collection (2012)
  • £7,000 award from London Metropolitan University for collaboration with FOSCAL: Colombian Children’s Hospital for telomere measurement and resilliance (2014)


Recent research

Una's primary interest is how genetics and the environment interact with each other. Specific research includes:

  • The tracking and monitoring of environmental interactions using biomarkers (such as telomere length) allowing simple interventions to improve life expectancy. Collaborators include Dr A Walley, St Georges Hospital Medical School, University of London, Professor Patricio Jaramillio and Fundación Oftalmológica De Santander.
  • The genetics of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular complications and diseases related to ageing: Telomere length in health and disease. Collaborators include Dr A Walley, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, Dr Jessica Buxton and University College London (UCL).
  • The genetics of the formation of microvesicles and their role in host susceptibility to intracellular infection. Collaborators include Professor Jameel Inal, London Metropolitan University, Dr Sheelagh Heugh and London Metropolitan University.
  • The role in interindividual differences in body mass and bone density and interaction with smoking. Collaborators include Professor Alex Blakemore and Brunel University.

Una is a also a member of London Met's research centre, the Molecular Systems for Health Research Group.  This is a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in chemistry, phytochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and genetics, and is focused on strategic areas of analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic applications in biomedical science. 

  • Inal JM, Fairbrother U, Heugh S (2013) Microvesiculation and disease Biochem SocTrans 41:237-240
  • Laura K Towns, Marlene Attard, Dr Andrew J Walley, Dr Una L Fairbrother (2011) HHEX is associated with T2D in a South Asian Population. ESHG
  • Laura K Towns, Marlene Attard, Dr Andrew J Walley, Dr Una L Fairbrother (2010) HHEX-IDE genotype is associated with birth weight in South Asians, ESHG
  • De Smith, A, Walters, R, Ellis, R, Holder, S, Van Haelst, M, Brady, A, Fairbrother, U,Dattani, M, Keogh, J,  Henning, E,  Yeo, G, O’Rahilly, S, Froguel, P, Farooqi, I S, Blakemore, A (2009) A Deletion of the HBII-85 Class of Small Nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) is Associated with Hyperphagia, Obesity and Hypogonadism. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 18:3257-65
  • Laura K Towns, Marlene Attard, Dr Andrew J Walley, Dr Una L Fairbrother (2009) HHEX-IDE genotype is a risk factor for IUGR in South Asians. BSHG
  • De Smith A, Purmann C, Walters RG, Ellis RJ, Holder SE, Van Haelst MM, Brady AF,Fairbrother UL, Dattani M, Keogh JM,  Henning E, Yeo GH, O’Rahilly S, Froguel P, Farooqi SI, F Blakemore AIF (2009) Elucidating the aetiology of Prader-Willi syndrome – deletion of the HBII-85 class of snoRNA is associated with hyperphagia, obesity and hypogonadism, BSHG
  • Fairbrother UL; Tankó LB, Walley AJ, Christiansen C,  Froguel P, Blakemore AIF(2007) Leptin Receptor Genotype at Gln223Arg is Associated with Body Composition, Bone Mineral Density and Vertebral Fracture in Postmenopausal Danish Women, JBMR 22:544-50.
  • Gender Specific Modulation of Extremely Obese French Caucasian Phenotype by LEPR Coding Variants (2005) Fairbrother U L, Walley AJ,  Boyle C, Tauber M, Jouret B, Jaquet D, Levy-Marchal C, Charles MA, Weill J, Froguel P, Blakemore AIF,  BSHG
  • Coding SNPs in the human leptin receptor gene contribute to severe obesity in French Caucasian adults (2005) Fairbrother U; Walley AJ; Boyle C; Tauber M; Jouret B; Jaquet D; Levy-Marchal C; Charles MA; Weill J; Froguel P, Blakemore AIF, J MED GENET. 42: S116-S116

Email: u.fairbrother@londonmet.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7133 4334

Room: T12-03, Tower Building