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.
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.