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Struan F.A. Grant, PhD
Photo of Struan F.A. Grant
Director, Center for Spatial and Functional Genomics

Dr. Grant uses high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies, combined with statistical and bioinformatic approaches, to unravel genomic puzzles related to multiple common complex traits.



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Dr. Grant serves as a director of the Center for Spatial and Functional Genomics, which has been conducting human genomics research for more than 20 years. The highlights of his career include the discovery of the polymorphic Sp1 site in the COL1A1 gene and its association with osteoporosis, the identification of variation in the TCF7L2 gene playing a key role in conferring type 2 diabetes risk, and providing leadership in an international genetics effort to characterize genes influencing birth weight and common childhood obesity risk.

He has also previously played a role in uncovering genes involved in other traits, including cleft lip with or without palate, scoliosis, inflammatory bowel disease, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, head circumference, intracranial volume, myocardial infarction, pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and neuroblastoma.

Current work by Dr. Grant and his team primarily involves investigating disease genomics with a specific focus on pediatrics. Using high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies, combined with statistical and bioinformatic approaches, his goals include unraveling genomic puzzles related to childhood obesity, pediatric bone strength determination, early onset diabetes and cancer. 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.

Education and Training

BSc, University of Aberdeen, UK (Genetics), 1991

PhD, University of Aberdeen, UK (Genetics), 1996

Titles and Academic Titles

Co-Leader, Spatial and Functional Genomics Research Affinity Group

Director, Center for Spatial and Functional Genomics

Daniel B. Burke Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research

Professor of Pediatrics

Professor of Pediatrics in Genetics

Professional Memberships

American Society of Human Genetics, 2008-

Early Growth Genetics Consortium (EGG), 2009-

American Diabetes Association, 2009-

American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, 2010-

Society of Pediatric Research, 2016-

Professional Awards

Young Investigator Award, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, 1995

Russell A. Hibbs Basic Science Award, Scoliosis Research Society, 2011

Publication Highlights

Grant SFA. The TCF7L2 Locus: A Genetic Window Into the Pathogenesis of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2019 Aug; 2019 Sep;42(9):1624-1629. doi: 10.2337/dci19-0001. Epub 2019 Aug 13. PubMed PMID: 31409726; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6702598
Chesi A, Wagley Y, Johnson ME, Manduchi E, Su C, Lu S, Leonard ME, Hodge KM, Pippin JA, Hankenson KD, Wells AD, Grant SFA. Genome-scale Capture C promoter interaction analysis implicates novel effector genes at GWAS loci for bone mineral density. Nature Communications. 2019 Mar; 10(1):1260; PubMed PMID: 30890710; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6425012
Bradfield JP, Taal HR, Timpson NJ, Scherag A, Lecoeur C, Warrington NM, Hypponen E, Holst C, Valcarcel B, Thiering E, Salem RM, Schumacher FR, Cousminer DL, Sleiman PM, Zhao J, Berkowitz RI, Vimaleswaran KS, Jarick I, Pennell CE, Evans DM, St Pourcain B, Berry DJ, Mook-Kanamori DO, Hofman A, Rivadeneira F, Uitterlinden AG, van Duijn CM, van der Valk RJ, de Jongste JC, Postma DS, Boomsma DI, Gauderman WJ, Hassanein MT, Lindgren CM, Mägi R, Boreham CA, Neville CE, Moreno LA, Elliott P, Pouta A, Hartikainen AL, Li M, Raitakari O, Lehtimäki T, Eriksson JG, Palotie A, Dallongeville J, Das S, Deloukas P, McMahon G, Ring SM, Kemp JP, Buxton JL, Blakemore AI, Bustamante M, Guxens M, Hirschhorn JN, Gillman MW, Kreiner-Møller E, Bisgaard H, Gilliland FD, Heinrich J, Wheeler E, Barroso I, O'Rahilly S, Meirhaeghe A, Sørensen TI, Power C, Palmer LJ, Hinney A, Widen E, Farooqi IS, McCarthy MI, Froguel P, Meyre D, Hebebrand J, Jarvelin MR, Jaddoe VW, Smith GD, Hakonarson H, Grant SF. A genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies new childhood obesity loci. Nat Genet. 2012 May; 44(5):526-31. PMID: 22484627
Hakonarson H, Grant SF, Bradfield JP, Marchand L, Kim CE, Glessner JT, Grabs R, Casalunovo T, Taback SP, Frackelton EC, Lawson ML, Robinson LJ, Skraban R, Lu Y, Chiavacci RM, Stanley CA, Kirsch SE, Rappaport EF, Orange JS, Monos DS, Devoto M, Qu HQ, Polychronakos C. A genome-wide association study identifies KIAA0350 as a type 1 diabetes gene. Nature. 2007 Aug; 448(7153):591-4. Epub 2007 Jul 15. PMID: 17632545
Grant SF, Thorleifsson G, Reynisdottir I, Benediktsson R, Manolescu A, Sainz J, Helgason A, Stefansson H, Emilsson V, Helgadottir A, Styrkarsdottir U, Magnusson KP, Walters GB, Palsdottir E, Jonsdottir T, Gudmundsdottir T, Gylfason A, Saemundsdottir J, Wilensky RL, Reilly MP, Rader DJ, Bagger Y, Christiansen C, Gudnason V, Sigurdsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Gulcher JR, Kong A, Stefansson K. Variant of transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene confers risk of type 2 diabetes. Nat Genet. 2006 Mar; 38(3):320-3. Epub 2006 Jan 15. PMID: 16415884

Links of Interest