1150 West Medical Center Drive, 6520 MSRB I
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States of America
Phone: (734) 647-2964
Facsimile: (734) 763-2535
Our group studies the genetics of human obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Obesity and NAFLD are global health epidemics that result in much morbidity and mortality themselves or via related metabolic diseases. We have led projects within the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium and the Genetics of Obesity-Related Liver Disease (GOLD) consortium, through which we have identified and characterized hundreds of common genetic variants that associate with metabolic, obesity, and NAFLD-related diseases and traits in individuals of European ancestry using genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis. We are currently working to identify new common and rare genetic variants that associate with obesity and NAFLD using larger meta-analyses of genome-wide association data imputed to HapMap/1000 Genomes as well as exome chip analyses across different ancestries. We are creating novel bioinformatics methods to identify pathways highlighted by associated variants affecting traits. We are also collecting medical, nutritional, genomic, metabolomics, and microbiome data on a new cohort we are establishing in China with the intent of integrating these data to identify patterns of exposure that promote obesity and NAFLD in this population with disproportionate metabolic disease compared to adiposity. Finally, we are characterizing the molecular action of NAFLD-associated variants and the genes they implicate in cellular and mouse models of hepatic steatosis in order to better define subtypes of the disease. Through our work we aim to improve our ability to prevent, diagnose, manage, and treat obesity, NAFLD, and related metabolic conditions in the future.