James Ware is a Reader in Genomic Medicine at Imperial College London, Group Head at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals. His research group spans the National Heart & Lung Institute, the Royal Brompton Cardiovascular Research Centre , and the MRC London Institute for Medical Sciences, and is supported by an Intermediate Clinical Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust.
James’ overarching research aims are to understand the impact of genetic variation on the heart and circulation, and to use genome information to improve patient care.
Understanding the genetic architecture of cardiomyopathies – we are using genetic & genomic approaches to understand the genetic underpinnings of heritable heart muscle diseases in humans. We are using exome and genome sequencing approaches to find genes that cause Mendelian (single-gene) forms of these diseases, and are also exploring the role of more common genetic and environmental factors that modulate disease risk and severity. These studies both provide diagnostic answers to affected families, and also identify potential new therapeutic targets.
We are also launching a community web portal - the heart hive - to support patient participation in research into heart muscle disease, allowing participants to self-enrol in our research, and to see what other research opportunities are available.
Variant interpretation – all of us carry rare variants that alter important genes. Distinguishing between those that cause disease and those that are innocent bystanders is a key challenge in contemporary clinical genetics. We are developing and applying new methods to address this challenge, and collaborating globally to refine our understanding of variation in genes associated with heart disease.
Precision medicine – we are evaluating the use of genetic and other biomarkers to stratify patients and predict their response to therapy and long-term outcomes. Ultimately, we are working to interpret genome information so that it can be used to optimise treatment choice for our patients.
Titin – we have a particular focus on the Titin gene, which encodes the largest human protein, a key component of muscles throughout the body. Recently identified as the most important cause of inherited dilated cardiomyopathy, we are working to understand the effects of Titin variants on the heart, their mechanisms of action, and their clinical significance.
Software - web resources, software, and other tools developed by the group are available here.
In the clinic, James is a Cardiologist specializing in the diagnosis and management of inherited cardiac conditions, including cardiomyopathies and inherited arrhythmia syndromes. This includes the assessment of families in which there has been a sudden unexplained death, in which case it is important to look for an underlying genetic condition that may also affect surviving relatives. For referral information please follow the links for NHS (UK) or private (UK or international) patients.
Dr Ware graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2000, and pursued general medical training in Cambridge, London and Geneva before appointment to specialist training in Cardiology in 2007. After a PhD at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (CSC), funded by a Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust, he was appointed an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in 2012, and undertook post-doctoral research at the MRC CSC, Imperial College, Harvard Medical School, and the Broad Institute. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship in 2015 and returned from Boston to start his own research group.