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Approved research

Pleiotropic effects of cardiometabolic genetic markers and their interaction with diet and fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases.

Principal Investigator: Dr James Engert
Approved Research ID: 41025
Approval date: February 12th 2019

Lay summary

DNA variation and environmental factors contribute to multiple cardiovascular diseases. The genetic variation is found in multiple genes that are in turn involved in various processes leading to diseases. For example, many variants that are known to increase cholesterol, have been shown to also influence cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the risk for individuals with certain genetic variants may be even greater if they have an unhealthy lifestyle. Because many disease processes remain to be discovered, we aim to both identify new interactions as well as combine genetic variants, into a 'Genetic Risk Score' or GRS that allows us to quantify an individual's total genetic risk. In addition, we will study the genetic causes of various risk factors and identify specific cellular processes that contribute to specific cardiovascular diseases. For example, we will study the contribution of diet and fatty acids to cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. We believe that a combined genetic and risk factor analysis will uncover novel causes of disease and contribute to our understanding of the risk factors for multiple cardiovascular diseases. This increased understanding of risk factors and the discovery of new cellular processes could help to develop novel treatment strategies for diseases having a common etiology.