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geneticsBody weight is influenced by both genes and environment. Diet, exercise, where one lives, and many other environmental factors interact with genes to predispose people to obesity. The Human Genome Project has now allowed scientists to identify obesity genes. Our goal is to discover and validate genetic factors that can cause or influence obesity.

Our research focuses on not only the genetic factors that may affect the onset obesity but also genetic variations associated with better outcomes after bariatric surgery. We hope our research will provide information to improve individualized patient care both for the current obese population and for future generations.

Investigators Interested in the Topic:

Christopher Still, DO, Director Obesity Institute
George Argyropoulos, PhD, Staff Scientist
Peter Benotti, MD, Senior Clinical Research Investigator
David Carey, PhD, Director, Weis Center for Research
Jon Gabrielsen, MD, General Surgery
Tooraj Mirshahi, PhD, Weis Center for Research
Anthony Petrick, MD, General Surgery
David Rolston, MD, Director, General Internal Medicine
Jamie Seiler, PA-C, Manager of Research Operations
William Strodel, MD, General Surgery
Craig Wood, MS, Biostatistician
Glenn Gerhard, MD, Consultant


Gerhard GS, Chu X, Wood GC, Gerhard GM, Benotti P, Petrick AT, Gabrielsen J, Strodel WE, Still CD, Argyropoulos G. Next-generation sequence analysis of genes associated with obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease-related cirrhosis in extreme obesity. Hum Hered. 2013;75(2-4):144-51. doi: 10.1159/000351719. Epub 2013 Sep 27. PubMed PMID: 24081230

Gerhard GS, Styer AM, Strodel WE, Roesch SL, Yavorek A, Carey DJ, Wood GC, Petrick AT, Gabrielsen J, Ibele A, Benotti P, Rolston DD, Still CD, Argyropoulos G. Gene expression profiling in subcutaneous, visceral and epigastric adipose tissues of patients with extreme obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Aug 16. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.152. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23949615.

Zechner, JF., Mirshahi, UL., Satapati, S., Berglund, ED., Rossi, J., Scott, MM., Still, CD., Gerhard, GS., Burgess, SC., Mirshahi, T., Aguirre, V.: Weight-independent effects of roux-en-Y gastric bypass on glucose homeostasis via melanocortin-4 receptors in mice and humans. Gastroenterology Mar 2013; 144(3); 580-590.

Parikh, M., Hetheringon, J., Sheth, S., Seiler, J., Ostrer, H., Gerhard, G., Wood, GC., Still, CD.: Frequencies of Obesity Susceptibility Alleles among Ethnically and Racially Diverse Bariatric Patient Populations. SOARD June 2013; 9(3): 436-441.

Still, CD., Wood, GC., Chu, X., Erdman, R., Manney, CH., Benotti, P., Petrick, A., Strodel, W., Mirshahi, UL., Mirshahi, T., Carey, D., Gerhard, G.: High Allelic Burden of Four Obesity SNPs Is Associated with Poorer Weight Loss Outcomes Following Gastric Bypass Surgery. Obesity August 2011; 19(8): 1676-1683.

Mirshahi, U., Still, C., Masker, K., Gerhard, G., Carey, D., Mirshahi, T.: The MC4R (I251L) Allele is Associated with Better Metabolic Status and more Weight Loss after Gastric Bypass Surgery. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96(12): E2088-E2096.

Gerhard, G., Chokshi, R., Still, C., Benotti, P., Wood, GC., Freedman-Weiss, M., Rider, C., Petrick, A.: The influence of iron status and genetic polymorphisms in the HFE gene on the rick for postoperative complications after bariatric surgery: a prospective cohort study in 1,064 patients. Patient Safety in Surgery 2011 (5:1).