NIH-funded study will explore how genetics, environment affect health

people standing in the shape of a DNA helix

With support from a five-year, $5.3 million National Institutes of Health grant, scientists from Texas A&M University and Johns Hopkins University will expand research into how environment and genetics can affect human health.

David Threadgill, director of the Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, as well as a professor and holder of the Tom and Jean McMullin Chair of Genetics at the College of Medicine, will serve as co-lead on the project.

Research on how genetics work in concert with the environment to affect health is a relatively new area of research, Threadgill said.

“For the last several decades, research has largely focused on genetic differences that are associated with disease,” he said. “However, the environment, particularly intersecting with genetics, probably has a much larger impact on our health.”

Threadgill will provide the expertise in genetics and clinical phenotyping for the project.

“My research group has a long-standing interest in how environmental exposures, such as chemicals and diet, interact with our genetics to impact future health and disease,” he said, “and importantly how this knowledge can be used to reduce the health impacts of detrimental environmental exposures.”

More at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences