Genomics and Metabolomics
Genomics, metabolomics, and other “omics” approaches have the potential to inform individualized care for prevention and treatment of disease.
With genomics approaches, we can address the contribution of genetic variation across the genome to health, including disease risk and response to interventions. In 2008, using genome-wide admixture scanning, Welch faculty, Drs. WH Linda Kao, Rulan Parekh, and Michael Klag published the seminal finding that the MYH9 (APOL1) gene locus confers strong risk for end-stage kidney disease. Ongoing work in genetics includes active membership in genetics consortia to study kidney disease and diabetes and the evaluation of gene-environment interactions to prevent and treat these diseases.
Global metabolomic profiling provides a comprehensive picture of complex biosystems through the detection of a wide variety of low molecular weight molecules. Targeted metabolomics panels have the added benefit of more accurate quantification of metabolites of interest. Metabolomics is a rapidly evolving field, and recent advances in metabolomics methodology allows for the efficient measurement of many metabolites with improved precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. Welch Center faculty are applying metabolomics to many different fields including nutrition and chronic disease epidemiology.