Inga Peter, PhD
- PROFESSOR | Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Research Topics:Diabetes, Genetics, Genomics, Obesity
Dr. Peter is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the Icahn Institute for Data Science and Genomic Technology.
She received her PhD in Genetic Epidemiology from Tel Aviv University, Israel and completed a postdoctoral training at Tufts University while working on the Framingham Heart Study.
Her primary research focus is on the assessment of the role of genetics, genomics and the microbiome in the pathogenesis of complex disorders, with the focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recently, she led numerous efforts to establish genetic, clinical and therapeutic link between IBD and Parkinson’s disease. These findings are now used to develop novel approaches to diagnose and treat these two seemingly unrelated diseases. She is also the Principal Investigator of the MECONIUM (Exploring MEChanisms Of disease traNsmission In Utero through the Microbiome) study, aimed to understand the effects of maternal IBD on the initial bacterial colonization and development of the immune system in the offspring. Dr. Peter also leads the first IBD prevention trial, Modulating Early Life micrObiome through DietarY Intervention in Crohn’s Disease with the goal to test if dietary intervention during pregnancy could facilitate the development of a healthy microbiome in babies born to mothers with IBD.
In addition to IBD research, Dr. Peter is the Principal Investigator on a series of genetic and systems pharmacology studies of cardiovascular, metabolic and renal comorbidies, as well as adverse effects associated with antiretroviral therapy, in persons living with HIV. She is also leading a project aimed to identify genetic predictors of non-syndromic craniosynostosis, one of the most common birth defects.
Dr. Peter is the Associate Director of the PhD Program in Clinical Research and Director of the Institutional Early Career Development Program (KL2). She also leads the Mentoring Program in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and the Icahn Institute for Data Science and Genomic Technology.
Multi-Disciplinary Training AreaGenetics and Data Science [GDS]
MSc, Tel Aviv University
PhD, Tel Aviv University
Weizmann Institute of Science
My research focus is in identifying genes involved in complex disorders that include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and Crohn's disease. I am particularly interested in genetic control of estrogen metabolism and action. My colleagues and I identified genetic variations in estrogen receptor genes (ESR1 and ESR2) that are associated with increased prevalence of myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular risk factors. In addition, I am interested in finding genes that influence vascular reactivity, arterial stiffness and are associated with the risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension. My general approach is to apply candidate gene and genome-wide association studies, or GWAS, to detect genotype-phenotype associations in large cohorts of individuals.
Most recently, I started to investigate genetic influences on responsiveness to treatments. I lead a pharmacogenetic study of an ongoing randomized clinical trial aimed to provide myocardial metabolic support in the form of intravenous Glucose-Insulin-Potassium (GIK) therapy to individuals with acute coronary syndrome. IMMEDIATE (Immediate Myocardial Metabolic Enhancement During Initial Assessment and Treatment in Emergency care) Trial is currently in the process of recruiting patients nation-wide and comparing immediate and long-term response to treatment versus placebo with regard to myocardial function. Given accumulating evidence strongly suggesting that mutations in genes encoding drug targets can be linked to drug responses, we hypothesize that variations in genes encoding common pathways related to GIK response in the heart will be associated with the immediate and long-term response to GIK therapy. Another project is aimed to identify variation in genes that are members of the G-coupled protein receptor (GPCR) family associated with diabetes and obesity. The major study cohort isthe Look AHEAD study (Action for HEAlth in Diabetes), a clinical trial conducted in 16 centers in the US investigating the long-term health impact of an intensive lifestyle intervention in overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes. So far, the trial completed its 1-year follow-up that showed that intensive lifestyle intervention resulted in clinically significant weight loss, which was associated with improved diabetes control and CVD risk factors. The next step will be to investigate whether these phenotypes correlate with GPCR genotype data. We expect to see that carriers of certain genotypes will be more likely to lose and maintain low weight over time.
Finding genes associated with complex disorders may help elucidate mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and enhance our ability to postpone and treat these conditions in genetically susceptible individuals before irreversible clinical manifestations occur.
I also serve as the Principal and co-Investigator on a number of projects that involve Mount Sinai Biobank participants.
I am the co-Investigator of the NHGRI-funded U01 grant ‘Biorepositories for Genomic Medicine in Diverse Communities’ (eMERGE) and the Institute of Personalized Medicine - funded grant ‘Evaluating Information Needs to Generate Community Engagement and Genomics Education’ (ENGAGE). I also lead two pilot studies focused on the Mount Sinai Biobank population: 1) to determine genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes in the absence of obesity and 2) to identify differences in microbial content between obese and lean diabetics. In addition, I am the Principal Investigator of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute - funded R01 grant aimed to identify genetic factors associated with response to metabolic therapy in a setting of acute coronary syndrome. Furthermore, I am leading the laboratory research on mechanisms of Crohn’s disease.
- Genetics of complex diseases through next generation sequencing
- Pharmacogenetics and genetic risk modification by means of lifestyle intervention
- Microbiome studies of Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity
- Population genetics of Ashkenazi Jews