The Quertermous Laboratory

The Quertermous laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms that mediate vascular disease pathophysiology and the risk for these diseases. The approach is primarily genetic, using human cohorts and large-scale genome wide studies to identify genes that associate with disease and risk, and molecular genetic studies to define the mechanisms of these associations. At the human level, we collaborate with a number of centers around the world through the CARDIoGRAM+C4D consortium to further identify coronary heart disease loci, and our group serves as the organizing center searching for loci that associate with gold standard measures of insulin sensitivity, the GENESIS study. Numerous large-scale genomic studies are underway to annotate regulatory sequences in the human genome and relate these sequences to causal disease variation. Further, we work to identify mechanisms by which causal variation is responsible for altered gene structure or function, and employ cellular and genetic mouse models to identify how encoded factors participate in the disease process.

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Human genetics and other population-based methods in combination with molecular biology in cell and in vivo models to discover novel biology and drug targets related to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease

The primary focus of our laboratory is the link between metabolic disturbances, such as obesity and insulin resistance, and the development of subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease. Our research is translational and interdisciplinary, combining population studies - specifically genomics and other -omics studies - with molecular biology using in vivo and in vitro models to reach new insights into the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic diseases, identification of new biomarkers for improved risk prediction, and discovery of novel targets for drug development

Our team has led many large efforts identifying new loci associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits, and we have extensive experience from research on biomarkers and -omics methods, including development and use of prediction metrics and Mendelian randomization. We are leading –omics efforts in several cohort studies, including ULSAM, PIVUS, TwinGene and EpiHealth, and use the UK Biobank routinely in our projects.

Since 2013, we have refocused much of our research efforts towards characterization of genes discovered in genome-wide association studies using a combination of in-depth studies in human (including various -omics methods), in vitro studies (primarily adipocytes, hepatocytes and skeletal myocytes) and in vivo models (mice and zebrafish).