Heather Lawson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Genetics

Research Interests

Metabolic Regulation and Obesity

Islet Biology and Immunology

Category(ies) of Research



Descriptor of Research

The Lawson Lab addresses important questions about the genotype – phenotype relationship that must be answered to understand variation in dietary obesity-related metabolic traits. Questions such as: Are particular metabolic traits more genetically or epigenetically controlled? How does diet affect the relative contribution of genetics or epigenetics? Do differences in genetic and epigenetic modes of regulation result in discordance among metabolic traits? Answers to these questions are critical to understanding why some individuals with metabolic complications respond to lifestyle modifications while others require therapeutic interventions. Further, understanding how diet modifies genetic and epigenetic effects might shed light on why some obese individuals develop metabolic complications while others remain metabolically normal. The ability to predict such effects would be a step towards personalized medicine and towards understanding how associations among metabolic traits evolved.

Department of Genetics