Physiological Genomics Research Program at UT College of Medicine
Welcome to the Physiological Genomics Research Program of the University of Toledo College of Medicine. This Research Program at UT is lead by Dr. Bina Joe, who is a Professor in Physiology and Pharmacology, well-recognized for her research primarily in the Genetics of Hypertension. Notably, she was awarded the 2010 Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Hypertension.
Genetic studies of complex polygenic traits such as blood pressure are primary conducted with the view to map, identify and ascertain the magnitude of change imparted by each of the underlying contributing genetic factors. The scope of such studies conducted in humans alone is thwarted by several confounding factors including genetic heterogeneity, low penetrance and uncontrolled environmental factors. Rat models of hypertension have served as tools to study the genetic control of blood pressure with minimal interferences from these confounding factors. These include the inbred hypertensive strains, the consomic strains and the congenic strains and genetically engineered models including transgenic and knockout rats. In our laboratory, we have constructed congenic strains derived from the Dahl salt-sensitive (S) rat as genetic tools and located and fine-mapped several quantitative trait loci to regions containing as few as two annotations to <30 annotations. Ongoing work is focused on detecting variants and assigning causation to the variants responsible for the observed effect on blood pressure. To this end, we are combining state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques and large scale-omics and nextgen sequencing technologies with the development of novel rat knockout and transgenic models. These studies in rat models are expected to serve as potential leads for translational genetic analysis of human essential hypertension.