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Approved Research

Molecular circuits of sex dimorphism in cardiometabolic traits and risk factors.

Principal Investigator: Dr Daniela Zanetti
Approved Research ID: 102143
Approval date: April 26th 2023

Lay summary

Cardiometabolic traits and risk factors including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension are the leading causes of death worldwide. These conditions exhibit some degree of sex differences, including differences in incidence or prevalence, age of onset, severity, disease progression, susceptibility, response to treatment and pharmacological adverse events. Unfortunately, the reasons behind this sex dimorphism are largely unknown, hampering the realisation of an effective personalised medicine.

This project aims to understand the genetic and molecular components that differentially impact men and women in the development of cardiometabolic traits and risk factors. I will first investigate genetic differences between men and women to evaluate the effects of known-genetic variants within each sex and to identify novel sex specific variants that may have been previously undetected. I will then explore putative sex specific causal genes using statical methods for causal inference.

This will lead to optimise therapeutics and find new drug targets that perform equally well in men and women and will open the door to an improved personalised and precision medicine in the near future.