Dr. Adebowale Adeyemo is an associate investigator and deputy director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Adeyemo's research explores the role of genetic risk factors in complex disease. His research focuses on two broad areas: cardiometabolic disorders and complex disorders in childhood. These studies are based on research collections of affected people, controls without the disorder and (in some situations) family members to which state-of-the-art genetics and genomics analytic techniques are applied to obtain answers to biological and clinically relevant questions.
Hypertension, obesity and diabetes are three common non communicable disorders that pose huge clinical and public health challenges in the United States and globally. They occur as a result of lifestyle and behavioral factors (such as diet and physical activity) working in concert with genetic factors. Dr. Adeyemo's work focuses on the search for specific genetic risk factors contributing to these disorders. He studies populations of African ancestry who experience some of the highest prevalences of these conditions when they live in Western countries (e.g. African Americans) or are experiencing an epidemiologic transition (as in West Africa).
Complex diseases in childhood span a wide range of conditions from congenital malformations (also known as birth defects) to more common clinical conditions that manifest later in childhood (for example, the nephrotic syndrome). Many of these conditions are developmental disorders. Dr. Adeyemo's early work in this area was on dysmorphology in African children, including seminal work that defined and described the range of normal craniofacial dimensions for clinical use and the clinical epidemiology of major birth defects in Nigerian children. His current work on the genomics of such complex diseases of childhood include a search for genetic risk factors for childhood renal disorders, orofacial clefts and congenital heart disease.
Dr. Adeyemo qualified in medicine at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. After a residency in pediatrics and genetics, he became a faculty member of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a consultant pediatrician/geneticist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. He subsequently held fellowships in genetic epidemiology and in medical education. He moved to Howard University, Washington, D.C. in 2003 to work in genetic epidemiology at the National Human Genome Center at Howard University. He came to the NIH in 2008 as a Staff Scientist. He became an associate investigator at NHGRI in 2016.
Dr. Adeyemo works on the genomics of complex disease, focusing on cardiometabolic disorders and complex disorders of childhood. He has published widely in genetics and genetic epidemiology. He was the first author of the papers describing: the first genome scan for obesity in an African population, the first genome-wide linkage analysis for serum lipids in an African population, the first study of genetic structure in West Africans using genome-wide markers and the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for hypertension and blood pressure in African Americans.
Dr. Adeyemo is currently co-chair of the H3Africa Genome Analysis Working Group and serves on the H3ABioNet Scientific Advisory Board. He is a co-creator of the NHGRI electronic atlas of birth defects for diverse populations.
Posted: February 7, 2017