TORS Investigators – Team 4

Human Genetics and Energy Metabolism

Lead Investigator

Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D., is a human geneticist who, with his scientific collaborator Helen Hobbs, M.D., has identified and characterized several key genes and sequence variants that contribute to disorders of lipid metabolism and coronary heart disease in humans.

Associate Investigators

Abhimanyu Garg, M.D., is an endocrinologist and a world authority on the clinical characterization and treatment of lipodystrophy. Dr. Garg discovered two genetic defects that cause congenital generalized lipodystrophy, and pioneered the use of leptin to treat the severe metabolic complications of this disorder.

Scott Grundy, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and Director of the Center for Human Nutrition. Dr. Grundy has played a central role in defining the metabolic effects of statins. He is the Chair of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III), which establishes treatment guidelines for hyperlipidemias.

Helen Hobbs, M.D., is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2007), the Institute of Medicine, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She discovered ABCG5 and ABCG8, two membrane proteins that mediate cholesterol secretion into bile, and found that mutations in ARH produce an autosomal recessive form of severe hypercholesterolemia in humans. She also served as Director of the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at UTSW, which performed the Dallas Heart Study.

Carol Tamminga, M.D., is a psychiatrist and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. She has expertise in human trials and clinical depression. She helps translate the molecular, genetic and neuroanatomic observations made in our unique models directly to the human brain. She is also the Director of the Dallas Brain Bank, which is a key resource to the Taskforce on Obesity Research.

Gloria Vega, Ph.D., is an expert in the in vivo metabolism of lipoproteins who developed methods to quantify plasma ApoB-containing lipoproteins (VLDL, IDL, LDL) and to define the metabolic consequences of drugs used to treat components of the metabolic syndrome.