Yann C. Klimentidis, assistant professor in the epidemiology and biostatistics division of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has received a $440,000 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to better predict type-2 diabetes risk early in life using genetic information across different ethnic groups.
The study will focus on developing and testing prediction models for early detection of type-2 diabetes risk.
Klimentidis will look at data from three different ethnic groups – European-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans – to determine how genetic factors combine to contribute to this risk. The study will use publically available genome-wide marker datasets to better understand the genetic basis of type-2 diabetes.
Klimentidis joined the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in August with a research focus on population genetics, health disparities and the genetic basis of complex disease traits.
Environmental, dietary and socioeconomic factors have already been proven to contribute to the increased or decreased risk of disease among different groups. Klimentidis aims to advance the ability to predict disease risk using genetic information.
“With the help of this research, those who are diagnosed as at risk early on in life can make the appropriate lifestyle changes to prevent the development of type-2 diabetes. Genetic testing is becoming more common and affordable and will hopefully lead to more personalized medicine and informed disease prevention,” said Klimentidis.
The grant, titled "Whole-Genome Prediction of Type-2 Diabetes Susceptibility in Various Populations," is a career development grant that allows for additional training through mentorships and workshops as well as a research project.