Research

The CRGGH uses genomic tools to understand the pathobiology of metabolic disorders, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and kidney diseases, in different human populations with particular attention to African Americans and Africans. Recent African origin populations, such as African Americans, provide unique opportunities to study how "old" genes interact with "new" environments in the evolution of common complex traits.

Taking advantage of the huge contrast in the distribution of risk factors at the genetic and environmental levels in contemporary African populations, the CRGGH is developing biological and statistical models to gain fundamental insights into disease etiology, differential distribution of disease, and variable drug response. The CRGGH is particularly interested in generating data that will allow novel inquiries into the evolutionary context of complex human diseases. For example, CRGGH investigators strive to understand how evolutionary forces such as pathogens, climate, and ancient food scarcity have shaped human genomes and how these genomic modifications predispose individuals and populations to chronic complex diseases such diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

Data generated in the CRGGH will continue to inform discussions surrounding complicated issues such as health disparities and whether the high rate of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among African Americans and other minority groups in the United States is the result of exposure to higher levels of environmental risk factors, an increased genetic susceptibility, or an interaction between adverse environments and deleterious variant load.

To answer these questions, the CRGGH is developing multiple genetic epidemiology projects in the United States, China, and several countries in Africa. A summary description of these projects is provided under Research Projects.

 


Last Updated: February 4, 2015