Harvard Catalyst Colloquium Series: What Can Be Learned from GWAS?

Posted July 8, 2009

“Genome-wide Association Studies: What Can Be Learned?”

Joel Hirschhorn, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics
Children’s Hospital Boston
Harvard Medical School

July 13, 2009, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Sherman Auditorium
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston

The Hirschhorn Laboratory’s long-term goal is to understand the genetic basis of human complex traits and common diseases, particularly obesity and height. The lab studies obesity because it is a heritable and readily measured risk factor for a number of serious diseases including diabetes; they study stature because of its relevance to human growth and development, and also because it is a classic polygenic trait. They also are interested in how genetic ancestry and human evolutionary history can influence genetic studies of polygenic traits.

Recently, the main focus in Dr. Hirschhorn’s lab has been to use genome-wide association data at hundreds of thousands of variants across the genome to identify new loci associated with obesity and height. They have successfully identified novel associations between common genetic variants and both height and obesity, and plan to continue to search for new loci that influence obesity and height, and also to characterize further the loci we have helped to discover. They plan to use next generation sequencing technology to more fully characterize the effects of common and rare variants at these loci, and will also use expression data and other functional approaches to understand better the effects of associated variants at these loci.

A networking reception will follow.

The Harvard Catalyst Colloquium Series is a core event of Harvard Catalyst. Open to the entire Harvard community, this exciting weekly series offers an opportunity to learn from world leaders in clinical and translational research, assemble as a Harvard-wide research community, and network and discover how to access resources and tools to enhance your research success.

Please note that the Colloquium Series will continue to run weekly through July 20, break for the month of August, and return in September.

Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Harvard Medical School designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For more information, or to join the Harvard Catalyst Colloquium Community, please visit the Colloquium Series page on the Harvard Catalyst website, or contact the series coordinator. Members of the Colloquium Community can view Colloquium series talks from their desk via live webcast, as well as access archived recordings of previous talks.