The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Struan F.A. Grant, PhD, edited a new book, “The Genetics of Obesity,” that examines genetic variants associated with obesity, discusses the history of obesity research, and describes recent breakthroughs.
“There is now clear evidence that genetics plays a role in the risk of presenting with obesity, and the areas covered in this book outline the progress that has been made in defining what genomic factors have been characterized to date,” Dr. Grant said.
“The Genetics of Obesity” features chapters on genetic obesity syndromes, genome-wide association studies of obesity, and the relation of genetic pleiotropy — or when genes cause multiple physical effects — to obesity. Children’s Hospital’s Shana E. McCormack, MD, wrote the opening chapter, which gives the background of genome-wide genetic approaches. Dr. Grant, who is an associate professor of pediatrics and associate director of CHOP’s Center for Applied Genomics, contributed a chapter that discusses efforts to understand the genetic architecture of childhood obesity.
A significant portion of Dr. Grant’s research has been related to obesity and metabolic diseases. He led a study published in Nature Genetics in 2012 that discovered two new gene variants that increase the risk of common childhood obesity, and in 2013, he was co-leader of a study on the genetics of birth weight. He also has been working to better understand the genetic links between type 2 diabetes and cancer.
In his role as the book’s editor, Dr. Grant worked with contributors from institutions in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The authors’ affiliations include the Broad Institute, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Lille Pasteur Institute, Heinrich Heine University, the University of Michigan, Imperial College London, and the University of Cambridge’s Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science.