Visiting Scholar: Johanne Justesen (Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen)

Stanford Faculty Advisors: Manuel Rivas (Biomedical Data Science), Erik Ingelsson (Cardiovascular Medicine), and Josh Knowles (Cardiovascular Medicine)

Harnessing the power of time and genetics: Combining data from biobanks, medical records and molecular technologies to decipher cardio-metabolic disease origin and onset

Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 31% of deaths worldwide and posing a great threat to human health. However, to combat disease, there is a need to understand the genetic and environmental contribution to disease origin, onset and progression. New opportunities arise for studying disease origin and progression with large datasets that include both genetic information, phenotypical measurements and lifestyle information combined with prospective clinical records.  The aim of Johanne’s project is to identify novel genetic variants that are causally related to cardio-metabolic disease origin, onset and progression by developing and implementing novel methodologies to take advantage of clinical prospective data and to use genetic methods to infer causality between measured phenotypes and lifestyle and development of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, she wishes to elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms behind selected associated variation via a combination of population studies and functional follow-up experiments.