Using an integrative systems biology, molecular biology and bioinformatics approach, the lab is elucidating the interplay and contribution of genetics, miRs and microbiome in obesity, kidney, lung and cardiovascular disease. We are using an interdisciplinary approach to analyze primary human samples in disease and health to understand unique signatures associated with different human conditions so we may be able to better prevent and treat disease.
Our collaborators around the country and world provide expertise and patient biological samples to help increase diversity and chances to address health disparities, enabling personalized health.
Translational research initiative (taking discoveries from lab to bedside) to understand the microbiome (collectively represents bacteria, fungus and viruses in and on us) and its role in health and disease, particularly in obesity, kidney and cardiovascular disease (insights from this research can also shed light on other major killers like cancer, as microbiome can influence cancer progression),
Kidney disease: (10% in US have chronic kidney disease, 16% have kidney failure, with health disparities between different ethnicities. For example, African Americans are affected at a much higher rate; which can be prevented with better understanding of drivers)
Obesity/overweight (affects >65% of US, increases risk for arthritis, cancer, hypertension, diabetes)
Heart disease (number one killer in US)
Diabetes (costly to US w/severe complications like kidney failure, heart disease, vision loss, limb amputation) (greater % of Filipinos and pacific islanders are affected, why?)
Strength and uniqueness of research initiative:
a.) Cutting edge research on diseases that affect millions: big data, systems biology approach, gives highest chance of elucidating complexities and understanding of obesity, kidney and heart disease.
b.)Addresses health disparities by looking at similarities and differences of microbiome in Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, Caucasians and their contribution to disease and health
c) Leading physician scientists overseeing initiative, two of whom were faculty at Harvard medical school.
d) National and international collaborations