Science AMA Series: Why are some people more likely to develop diabetes
than others? We are researchers putting genes and lifestyle together.
Ask Us Anything!
Hi Reddit! We are leaders of a global research effort to identify and
characterize the mechanisms responsible for the development of type 2
diabetes (and related conditions including obesity) using human
genetics. The prevalence of these conditions continues to increase, and
current strategies for prevention and treatment are clearly inadequate.
We perform large-scale discovery studies (using genotyping and
next-generation sequencing in tens of thousands of individuals) to
highlight the variants that influence individual predisposition to these
conditions. We then use these discoveries as the starting point to home
in on the specific mechanisms through which those genes act, providing
novel clues to disease biology. We hope to turn this information into
new ways of treating and preventing these conditions. Our latest study
(including GWAS, exome array, exome and genome sequencing in 120,000
subjects) was just published in Nature (you can read here). This study
provides the most detailed description to date of the contribution of
inherited genetic variation to T2D risk: it has established that shared
common variation underlies most of that predisposition, as well as
identifying a number of genes which are disrupted as a result of those
changes, and which are therefore prime targets for future therapeutic
development. You can find out a bit more about these studies in the
blogs here. An important facet of our efforts is being proactive about
sharing those data with other researchers (for example). We are: Mark
McCarthy, University of Oxford, UK Mike Boehnke, University of Michigan,
US Andrew Morris, University of Liverpool, UK Jason Flannick, Broad
Institute, US Christian Fuchsberger, University of Michigan, US &
EURAC, Italy Tanya Teslovich, University of Michigan. We will be back at
3pm EDT (noon PT, 8pm BST) to answer your question, ask me/us anything!
Thanks everyone - we’re signing off now. Been fun. Sorry we didnt get to
every question but hope you have found it useful. Best Mark (on behalf
of the team)