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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Studying a protein already known to play an important role in type 2 diabetes and cancer, genomics researchers have discovered that it may have an even broader role in disease, particularly in other metabolic disorders and heart disease. In finding unsuspected links to other disease-related genes, the scientists, who reported on their work online July 17 in the British journal Diabetologia,  may have identified future targets for drug treatments.

During this week’s podcast study leader Dr. Struan Grant talks about the TCF7L2 protein and the role it plays in the human body. He discusses the linkage between the protein and diabetes and cancer and explains how his team discovered a role for TCF7L2 in other metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Grant also goes over the reasons why it might be more feasible to develop new drugs aimed at proteins encoded by specific gene classes regulated by TCF7L2 than focusing on the protein itself.

Dr. Struan Grant is a faculty member of the Division of Human Genetics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and within the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He obtained both his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. at the University of Aberdeen, U.K., in the area of osteoporosis genetics. He went on to a post-doctoral position at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, before joining the biotech sector where he worked for approximately eight years. Dr Grant's current work continues to primarily focus on whole-genome analyses of complex traits, with a specific focus on obesity, diabetes, and bone accrual in children, using approaches including GWAS and ChIP-seq.


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