MGH Research Scholars Program
The MGH Research Scholars Program was established to support early career researchers with innovative yet unproven ideas that have the potential to transform the future of medicine. Funded 100% through philanthropy, this program gives researchers the freedom and flexibility they need to follow the science wherever it leads. History has shown that brilliant scientists who are given free rein to explore new frontiers make the greatest, often unexpected, advances.
MGH Research Scholar Jose Florez, MD, PhD, is translating insights from genetics into new clinical treatments for diabetes.
The Pharmacogenetics of Type 2 Diabetes
Dr. Florez's laboratory is engaged in translating new genetic findings from type 2 diabetes research into the clinical arena. He and his group help generate and analyze emerging genetic data in order to:
(1) Provide a more refined understanding of type 2 diabetes, both by dissecting its clinical heterogeneity and illuminating novel mechanistic pathways; (2) Offer a "proof of concept" for the role of selected genetic variants significantly associated with diabetes or related glycemic traits, by showing that behavioral or pharmacological manipulation of a particular gene pathway alters specific phenotypes in humans; and (3) Contribute to usher in the era of genomic medicine, in which the practical utility of known genetic variation may be rigorously tested in the prediction of disease, prognosis of its clinical course, response to preventive or therapeutic options and individual susceptibility to side effects.
To achieve these goals, Jose Florez and his group have participated in the evaluation of specific variants in candidate genes that encode hypoglycemic drug targets with type 2 diabetes. They have also contributed to the performance and analysis of genome-wide association scans in type 2 diabetes and related traits, both in the Diabetes Genetics Initiative of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Lund University and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, as well as the Framingham Heart Study.