- Chief, Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, NIDDK, NIH, 2000–present
- Chief, Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section, NIDDK, NIH, 1985–2000
- NIH Clinical Research Training Fellowship, University of Vermont, 1979–1982
- Internal Medicine Residency, Dartmouth - Hitchcock Medical Center, 1977–1979
- Commander, U.S. Army Health Clinic, 1975–1977
- Internal Medicine Internship, Dartmouth - Hitchcock Medical Center, 1974–1975
- M.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine, 1974
- B.S., Lafayette College, 1970
The goal of our research is to determine the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity and their complications to improve prevention and treatment.
Our research goal is to determine the role of genetic and physiologic factors in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity and their complications. We use genome-wide association studies to identify variants associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and pre-diabetic/pre-obesity traits in specific populations. We look at expression data from skeletal muscle and adipose biopsies to identify expression profiles and metabolic traits that may predict disease onset. Identifying, quantifying, and understanding specific genetically determined susceptibility or protective factors could lead to prevention by identifying individuals at risk and to improved treatment.
Applying our Research
Identifying the specific etiologies of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity will lead to improved prevention and treatments.
Need for Further Study
The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasing throughout the developed and developing world and disproportionally affects minority populations. The causes of these conditions are complex and include genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may vary between populations. To improve prevention and treatments, more research is needed to identify the specific factors increasing susceptibility to these conditions in different populations.
- Greater impact of melanocortin-4 receptor deficiency on rates of growth and risk of type 2 diabetes during childhood compared with adulthood in Pima Indians.
- Thearle MS, Muller YL, Hanson RL, Mullins M, Abdussamad M, Tran J, Knowler WC, Bogardus C, Krakoff J, Baier LJ.
- Diabetes (2012 Jan) 61:250-7. Abstract/Full Text
- A genome-wide association study of BMI in American Indians.
- Malhotra A, Kobes S, Knowler WC, Baier LJ, Bogardus C, Hanson RL.
- Obesity (Silver Spring) (2011 Oct) 19:2102-6. Abstract/Full Text
Research in Plain Language
Our research will help explain how genetic factors—the instructions your body inherits from each parent—might contribute to the development of diabetes or obesity. We study the genetic details of a sample population and look for associations between variations of specific genes and diabetes, obesity, and traits that suggest a person is at risk for diabetes or obesity. We also look at samples of tissue like fat or muscle to see if genetic characteristics can help diagnose or predict the diseases. Research that identifies, measures, and helps us understand genetically determined risk or protective factors could lead to prevention or new ways to treat the diseases.