Identifying genetic variants associated with risk of type 2 diabetes and related disorders
Type 2 diabetes is a common disease that is caused by a combination of multiple genetic, environmental and behavioral factors. In order to identify individuals that are predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes, it is important to identify genetic variants - changes in the DNA sequence - associated with the disease, in particular, those variants that increase an individual's risk many-fold. Such genetic variants are expected to be rare in the population and identifying such rare variants requires the analysis and comparison of the DNA sequence of tens of thousands of individuals.
In this project, we will use the UK Biobank data to identify novel rare variants associated with risk of type 2 diabetes and related disorders such as monogenic diabetes. We will compare the frequencies of variants between individuals with and without diabetes, and use prior knowledge about the genes in the human genome that play an important role in regulating blood glucose levels to identify variants that increase or decrease risk for diabetes. This research will identify new variants and genes involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. This information, along with existing knowledge about the genetics of diabetes, can be used to estimate an individual's risk of developing diabetes. Since type 2 diabetes affects 7-10% of the general population, information about an individual's genetic risk of diabetes has the potential to impact the health of millions of individuals. This project will take 2-3 years to complete.