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Systems Genetics, Bioinformatics and Geriomics Current Research Projects


Genetics of Foot Disorders
NIAMS R01 AR060492

This grant will examine the heritability of specific foot disorders and conduct genome-wide association study of foot disorders and foot biomechanics in two large population-based cohorts, the Framingham Study and Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Meta-analyses across the known cohorts with these phenotypes will be conducted and SNP findings will be replicated in other cohorts with foot and genetic data. This is the first human genome-wide association study of foot disorders and the investigators welcome contact from others across the world interested in the genetics of foot disorders in populations.

Risk Factors for Age Related Bone Loss

This is the fourth, 5-year continuation of this project examining both genetic and lifestyle factors influencing age-related bone loss and fractures. The project involves the performance of a genome-wide association study of genes responsible for bone density and quantitative ultrasound.  It also examines diet by gene interactions and the role of lean leg mass on the risk of hip fracture.

Identifying Osteoporosis Genes by Whole Genome Sequencing and Functional Validation in Zebra Fish
NIAMS R01 AR072199

To overcome these challenges and get better understanding of genome wide association study findings, we proposed to utilize whole genome sequencing in large well-phenotyped populations as well as the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing zebrafish model to identify potential causal variants and targeted genes influencing skeletal integrity. Findings from this work may eventually lead to new diagnostics and therapeutics of osteoporosis.