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Focus on EAS Innsbruck 2016: Introducing the faculty - Plenary speaker Karsten Suhre

Wednesday 23 December 2015   (0 Comments)
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A forward-looking scientific Programme to excite, inspire and inform!

The EAS 2016 Scientific Committee has created a programme featuring ground-breaking speakers in their respective fields. EAS 2016 Innsbruck welcomes a distinguished international faculty to share their forward-looking perspectives on the latest developments in basic research and clinical practice in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. You can find details of the Plenary and Workshop sessions now on the Congress website,

Abstract submission is now open. Submit your abstract by January 11, 2016 for the opportunity to present your findings at this prestigious international Congress.

Here, in a series of newsletters, we introduce members of the EAS 2016 Innsbruck faculty.

Plenary session 3, Wednesday, June 01, 2016: Future Therapeutic Challenges

Karsten Suhre, Qatar: An integrative omics approach in human disease research

Karsten Suhre is Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Director of the Bioinformatics Core, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Prior to this appointment, he was Professor of Bioinformatics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Faculty of Biology) in association with the Institute for Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (MIPS) at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany. His research interests focus on metabolomics, specifically human metabolic individuality that may influence susceptibility to complex diseases such as diabetes.

Evidence from genome-wide association studies indicates that common genetic variants influence the metabolic composition of the individual, and hence their susceptibility to complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, information on the underlying biological processes is often lacking. To unravel the complex mechanisms underlying these molecular processes and to understand how the different functional levels interact with each other, new approaches are required to allow for interrogation of molecular alterations in human disease, hence the development of an integrative ‘omics’ approach.

Analysis of genotype-dependent metabolic phenotype is one example of an ‘omics’ approach which can provide information on the susceptibility to metabolic traits, thereby allowing clinicians the possibility of tailoring treatment to the individual. Studies to date have identified over 150 genetic loci associated with blood metabolite concentrations, which have provided functional insights relevant for cardiovascular disease. Indeed, most individuals carry one or more risk alleles that may influence susceptibility to disease, response to a specific pharmacotherapy, or dietary or environmental factors.

The ‘omics’ approach to human disease research is increasingly important in the context of personalized medicine, where treatment decisions are based on patients’ omics, demographic, clinical and environmental data, and also offers opportunities for targeted pharmacotherapeutic development.


Shin SY, Fauman EB, Petersen AK, Krumsiek J, Santos R, Huang J, Arnold M, Erte I, Forgetta V, Yang TP, Walter K, Menni C, Chen L, Vasquez L, Valdes AM, Hyde CL, Wang V, Ziemek D, Roberts P, Xi L, Grundberg E, The MuTHER Consortium, Waldenberger M, Richards JB, Mohney RP, Milburn MV, John SL, Trimmer J, Theis FJ, Overington JP, Suhre K, Brosnan MJ, Gieger C, Kastenmüller G, Spector TD, Soranzo N. An atlas of genetic influences on human blood metabolites. Nature Genetics 2014;46:543-50.

Petersen AK, Zeilinger S, Kastenmüller G, Römisch-Margl W, Brugger M, Peters A, Meisinger C, Strauch K, Hengstenberg C, Pagel P, Huber F, Mohney RP, Grallert H, Illig T, Adamski J, Waldenberger M, Gieger C, Suhre K. Epigenetics meets metabolomics: An epigenome-wide association study with blood serum metabolic traits. Hum Mol Genet 2014;23:534-45.

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