Goal 3 – Research: Tackling Obesity Through a New $3 Million Grant
Georgia State University has received two four-year grants totaling almost $3 million from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to research the epigenetic mechanisms that may fuel obesity.
Hang Shi, associate professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the lead investigator on both projects.
Epigenetics is the study of any process that alters gene expression—or the way that genes “behave”—yet does not change the underlying DNA sequence. How the body regulates gene expression is hereditary but it can also be affected by a person’s environment. For this reason, obesity experts see epigenetics as a link between environmental risk factors (such as diet and lifestyle) and genetic risk factors for the disease.