Functional genetics of obesity

Obesity is one of the major healthcare challenges worldwide and elucidation of genetic susceptibility variants has been exploded during last years. Common variants have been confirmed for many different genomic loci via genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses. Still the effect sizes are low and represent only part of the overall heritability of polygenic obesity. Our research group is interested in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms contributing to obesity. 

Our research group is interested in (i) genetic variation underlying human eating behavior and (ii) in epigenetic mechanisms in different human adipose tissue depots. We hope to better understand the “missing heritability” of obesity.

Our main research interests are as following:

(i) Genetics of human eating behavior: we are interested in genes that contribute to certain eating behavior factors and their possible influence on obesity
(ii) Differential DNA methylation in obesity: Does differential DNA methylation in adipose tissue contribute to obesity?
(iii) Chromatin accessibility and obesity: Is chromatin accessibility adipose tissue depot-specific and linked to obesity?
(iv) RNA modifications and obesity: we are interested in answering the question whether RNA modifications such as m6A have impact on etiology of obesity

The main team of our group is based at University of Oslo and Akershus University Hospital in Norway (UiO). Another team belonging to our group is working at the University of Leipzig, IFB AdiposityDiseases, Germany (Uni Leipzig). 

Collaborators

We closely collaborate with ther research group in our field in Norway and abroad-

(i) Jøran Hjelmesæth, Jens K. Hertel, both Morbid Obesity Center Tønsberg, Norway.

(ii) Arne Klungland, University of Oslo, Norway.

(iii) Geir Slupphaug, Cathrine B. Vågbø, both NTNU Trondheim, Norway.

(iv) Gunnar Mellgren, Johan Fernø, both University of Bergen, Haukeland Hospital, Norway.

(v) Tom Mala, Jon Kristinsson, both Aker Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

(vi) Housheng Hansen He, University of Toronto, Canada.

(vii) Arno Villringer, Annette Horstmann, both MPI for cognitive sciences, Leipzig, Germany.

(viii) Matthias Blüher, University of Leipzig, Germany. 

(ix) Anna-Maria DiBlasio, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy. 

(x) Charlotte Ling, Lund University Diabetes Centre, Malmö, Sweden.

(xi) Hans Binder, Interdisciplinary Centre for Bioinformatic, University of Leipzig, Germany.

Research group members

Head of research group:

Yvonne Böttcher
Academic degree: PhD
Field of research: genetics and epigenetics in obesity
Position: Professor I
E-Mail: yvonne.bottcher@medisin.uio.no


Postdocs:

Kerstin Rohde
Academic degree: PhD
Field of research: genetics and epigenetics in obesity
Position: Postdoc
E-Mail: kerstin.rohde@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Lars la Cour Poulsen
Academic degree: PhD
Field of research: epigenetics in obesity
Position: Postdoc
E-Mail: l.l.c.poulsen@medisin.uio.no

Torunn Rønningen
Academic degree: PhD
Field of research: epigenetics in obesity
Position: Postdoc
E-Mail: torunn.ronningen@medisin.uio.no 


Technical assistance

Mai Britt Dahl
Position: EpiGen staff
E-Mail: m.b.dahl@medisin.uio.no

Ines Müller
Position: technician
E-Mail: ines.mueller2@medizin.uni-leipzig.de  


Associated group members

Maria Keller
Academic degree: PhDField of research: epigenetics in obesity
Position: Postdoc
E-Mail: maria.keller@medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Tone Gretland Valderhaug
Academic degree: MD, PhD
Field of research: clinical research in obesity, head of outpatient clinic
Position: medical doctor
E-Mail: t.g.valderhaug@medisin.uio.no

Research projects

The association between metabolic profiles, chromatin structure and gene expression in different fatty tissue depots

Depot-specific mRNA modifications in fat cells and obesity; significance of mRNA modifications in human fat cells for metabolic complications of obesity.

Contact information

Yvonne Böttcher
yvonne.bottcher@medisin.uio.no

 
 

Read more about the research group here (UiO.no)

Read publications in pubmed here


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