Karen Mohlke, PhD



Associate Professor of Genetics, School of Medicine

Phone: (919) 966-2913
Fax: (919) 843-0291
Email: mohlke@med.unc.edu

Department of Genetics
CB# 7264
5096 Genetic Medicine
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7264


PhD, University of Michigan, 1996

Research Interests/Summary Brief

My research interests are focused on understanding the genetic basis for increased risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia and related cardiovascular risk factors. I am one of five principal investigators of the Finland United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics (FUSION) study, and I lead genetic analysis in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS).  In recent collaborative projects, we have used genome-wide association analysis to identify novel loci and variants influencing type 2 diabetes, glucose, insulin, adiponectin, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index, cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and other traits. We are identifying likely underlying functional genes, mechanisms and variants at several of these loci using molecular and cellular studies, such as identifying likely regulatory regions by locating open chromatin in pancreatic islets and measuring the effect of gene knockdown on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.  We also are participating in projects using whole genome and whole exome resequencing strategies to identify less common DNA variants that influence type 2 diabetes and related traits.