Genetics

Genetics

Texas Biomed's Department of Genetics works to advance human health through basic biomedical research with animal and human populations, specifically by characterizing the genetic components of susceptibility to common diseases of public health importance. Once the individual genes influencing a given disease are known, this genetic information can be used in drug development efforts to find more effective cures or methods of prevention for disease. The information can also be used to target available interventions to those individuals most likely to develop disease. Ongoing research efforts are focused on the influence of genetic and environmental factors on heart disease, obesity, diabetes, psychiatric disease, parasitic infections, and osteoporosis.

Projects

Baboon Model for Genetics of Human Generalized Epilepsy

The red baboon (Papio hamadryas papio) was first explored more than thirty years ago as a nonhuman primate model of primary generalized epilepsy in humans, and remains one of the best characterized electroclinical animal models for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Baboon Model for the Genetics of Chagas Disease

Chagas disease is a zoonotic disease found throughout Central and South America.

Comparative Genomics of Monodelphis domestica

The gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, has become an important model organism for basic biological and biomedical research.

Diet and Genotype in Primate Atherosclerosis

This project uses pedigreed baboons to study the interaction of diet and genotype in determining lipoprotein and adiposity-related phenotypes as risk factors for atherosclerosis.

Genetic Analysis of Host-Parasite Interactions

Both host and parasite genetic may potentially influence the outcome of infection in many infectious disease systems.

Genetic Analysis Workshop (GAW)

The Genetic Analysis Workshops are a biennial forum for developing, testing, and comparing statistical genetic methods.

Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaskan Natives

GOCADAN is a study of the contribution of genetics and environment to heart and vascular disease in several villages on Norton Sound.

Genetics of Atherosclerosis in Mexican Americans: San Antonio Family Heart Study

Departmental scientists are investigating the genetic components of heart disease in Mexican Americans; heart disease is the leading cause of death in this population.

Genetics of Birth Weight in Mexican Americans

Numerous epidemiological studies have shown that low birth weight is associated with diseases in adult life including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and the Metabolic Syndrome.

Genetics of Gallbladder Disease in Mexican Americans

Gallbladder disease (GBD) is a common, economically burdensome digestive disease. An estimated 20 million Americans are affected with GBD, and more than 700,000 cholecystectomies are performed every year.

Genetics of Osteoporosis-related Phenotypes in Baboons

Osteoporosis involves progressive structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and increased risk of bone fracture.

Mapping Drug Resistance Genes in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

The genome sequence of the Plasmodium falciparum is complete and a saturated microsatellite map has recently been published.

Monodelphis domestica, a natural mammalian model for cancer research

Taking advantage of the unique developmental patterns of Monodelphis, we have established the laboratory opossum as a natural mammalian model system for investigations on UV-induced melanoma and xenografted tumors.

Oman Family Study

Oman Family Study research program aims at understanding the role of genetic and environmental factors in complex diseases; mainly hypertension, diabetes, obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

Strong Heart Family Study

This study of Native Americans is aimed at assessing the genetic components of cardiovascular disease, which is a significant and increasing health problem in many American Indian tribes.

The Metabolic Syndrome in Mexican American Children

The prevalence rates of overweight/obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and the Metabolic Syndrome (MS: a constellation of metabolic abnormalities such as obesity and impaired glucose tolerance) have been increasing at epidemic proportions, particularly in minority groups such as Mexican Americans.

Resources

Genetic Analysis and Pedigree Management

Software developed in the Population Genetics Laboratory of the Department of Genetics, Texas Biomed, may be downloaded from this site.

Monodelphis domestica, The Laboratory Opossum

The laboratory opossum, Monodelphis domestica, was developed as an animal model in the Department of Genetics at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

PEDSYS Software

PEDSYS is a database system developed as a specialized tool for management of genetic, pedigree and demographic data.

SOLAR: Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines

SOLAR is an extensive, flexible software package for genetic variance components analysis, including linkage analysis, quantitative genetic analysis, SNP association analysis (QTN and QTLD), and covariate screening.