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The lab's current work primarily involves investigating disease genomics with a specific focus on pediatrics. Utilizing high-throughput genomic and sequencing technologies, combined with statistical and bioinformatic approaches, the goals of the Grant Lab include unraveling genomic puzzles related to childhood obesity, pediatric bone strength determination, birth weight, and early onset diabetes. These phenotypes are known to be strongly determined by genetic factors; however, resolving genomic contributors to such complex phenotypes in adults has been impeded by interaction with strong environmental factors. Distillation of the genomic architecture in these complex traits should be easier to determine in children, where the relatively short period of their lifetime limits the impact of environmental exposure. Given the global prevalence of such diseases, prevention of these disorders and their serious complications must be addressed in order to reduce individual morbidity and the economic burden on society.
Current projects in the lab include:
- Genetics of pediatric bone accrual
- Genetics of childhood obesity
- Variant-to-gene mapping for multiple traits — most notably type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and sleep disorders — using an arsenal of techniques including chromatin conformation capture, ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq and RNA-seq, to connect the actual effector genes to GWAS signals