Dr Andrew Povey


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Research interests

Following the unravelling of the human genome, there has been an understandable focus on the genetic causes of human disease. This focus, unfortunately, has resulted in a tendency to neglect the large impact that environmental factors, whether occupational or not, have on human disease.  Recent theoretical and practical advances in characterising the exposome, (ie the totality of an individual’s exposures through a lifetime), offers an opportunity to better characterise risks associated with environmental and genetic factors in the aetiology of chronic disease.  My own research spans the range from basic laboratory research to population studies looking at the health effects in particular of exposure to air pollution, pesticides and DNA damaging agents such as N-nitroso compounds.

Current Research

  • HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) is a Pan-European study with 30 participating organisations funded by the EU. The objective is the refinement of an integrated methodology and the application of the corresponding analytical and computational tools for performing environment-wide association studies in support of EU-wide environment and health assessments (http://www.heals-eu.eu/). The Manchester arm is contributing in these main areas : (i) the development and application of novel methods to assess exposure and susceptibility to genotoxic agents (e.g. via adductomics in collaboration with Fera Science Limited)  and (iii) the recruitment of pregnant women to the European Exposure and Health Examination survey (EXHES) (in collaboration with St Mary’s?)
  • IMPRESS (Improving exposure assessment methodologies for epidemiological studies on pesticides) is a collaboration with the Institution of Occupational Medicine (Lead) and the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK and the Institute of Risk Assessment Science (IRAS) from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. It is funded by the European Crop Protection Agency and this study aims to better understand the performance of existing methods of occupational exposure assessment to pesticides used in epidemiological studies. Further information can be found here: http://www.impress-project.org/
  • Identification and nucleotide resolution mapping of alkyl adducts in human DNA.  This is a collaborative study with the University of Sheffield and is a multi-disciplinary project award funded by the CRUK-EPSRC. The overall aim of this study  to characterise the human alkyl adductome at the genomic and nucleotide level and so to provide a more comprehensive picture of the alkyl adductome and it will address a fundamental deficit in our understanding of how alkylating agent exposure increases mutational and cancer risk 

Current PhD students (as main or co-supervisor)

  • Tarek Abou-Omar (Air pollution, epigenetics and birth outcomes in Beirut)
  • Sewon Lee (Cleaning products and respiratory ill-health in health care workers)
  • Tanawat Rakkamon (oragnic solvent and respiratory ill-health in solvent sin Thailand)
  • Hatim Badri (Toxicity of particulate matter)
  • Zulkhairul Naim Sidek Ahmad (Pesticide exposure in Malaysian Farmers)
  • Hanum Yakub (O6-alkylguanine DNA adducts and breast cancer risk)
  • Norhidayah Binti Ahmad  (Air pollution, placental toxicity and birth outcomes)
  • Muaamar Al-Khaiqani  (DNA damage and semen quality)
  • Liam Hanson (Origins and Biological Significance of Alkyl DNA Damage in Human Sperm and Fertility)



Research and projects

  1. EPHG: Epidemiology and Public Health Group

    Jones, A., Moran, T., George-Davidson, A., Hammond, A., Povey, A., Spencer, A., Sahu, A., Clayson, A., Harrison, A., Edwards, A., Verma, A., Lophatananon, A., Doyle, C., Wasiuk, C., Greenhalgh, C., Huish, C., Nash, D., Mcelvenny, D., Payne, D., Cairns, D., Cowley, E., Dalgarno, E., Evans, E., Cross, E., Borocin, F., Clough, G., Williams, G., Mohamed, H., Waterson, H., Wei, H., Basinas, I., Iskandar, I., Gemmell, I., Lamb, J., Stocks, J., Owen, J., Chadwick, J., Walsh, K., Winstanley, K., Muir, K., Fowler, K., Mekli, K., Blake, L., Byrne, L., Hasler, L., White, L., Kennedy, L., Van Tongeren, M., Regan, M., Carder, M., Brook, N., Zarin, N., Gartland, N., Bouamra, O., Whittaker, P., Hammond, P., Bentley, R., Addam, R., Harrison, R., Zubaite, R., Daniels, S., Mason, S., Jones, S., Jahr, S., Mitchell, S., Senior, S., Taylor, S., Walsh, S., Farragher, T., Zagrodnik, V., Alam, W., Mangan, D., Davidson, H., Mcconnell, J., Lewis, C., Tilley, C., Clarke, D., Yu, X., Seed, M., Weston, R., Sugden, S. & Ahmed, S.

    Project: Research