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    The Loos Lab.

Ruth Loos

Ruth Loos, PhD

Principal Investigator

Professor of Preventive Medicine

Ruth is a Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of the Genetics of Obesity and Related Metabolic Traits Program, in the Charles R. Bronfman Institute of Personalized Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

ruth.loos at mssm.edu

Ryan W. Walker


Postdoctoral Fellow

Ryan received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001. Ryan then spent 7 years as a professional chef in both San Francisco and New York City prior to earning his Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2008 while working as both an Exercise Physiologist and Research Coordinator for the New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Before joining MSSM, Ryan obtained his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology of Disease from the Keck School of Medicine at USC where he obtained complimentary expertise in clinical and genetic obesity investigation and researched the effects of dietary and genetic factors on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in Hispanic youth.

Ryan’s current work in the Loos lab involves better understanding the early establishment of the fetal gut microbiota and the role of the microbiome in the etiology of obesity and related diseases. The aim of this work is to 1. identify mediators of the gut bacterial population so as to establish targets for interventions to improve health outcomes and 2. to unravel cause vs. consequence in the relationships between diet, microbiome and host health.

Outside of the lab Ryan is a former professional chef and an accomplished athlete. He has worked in top level restaurants in San Francisco and NYC and was a member of Team USA Triathlon in 2008.

ryan.walker at mssm.edu

Claudia Schurmann

Ruth Loos, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Claudia studied Biomathematics with major in statistics and genetics at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University (EMAU) of Greifswald, Germany. In 2009, she joined the Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics of the University Medicine Greifswald (UMG). Her Diploma (MS) thesis focused on the analysis of genomic copy number variations (CNVs) in the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP).

In 2013 Claudia obtained her PhD in Genetics/Bioinformatics at UMG. She was trained to analyze various OMICs data, including whole-blood transcriptome and whole-genome genotyping data, miRNome- and proteome data. The main focus of her work was to develop and establish an automated workflow for the analysis and integration of complex OMICs data, with specific focus on transcriptomic and genomic data.

Claudia was member of the research training program (Graduiertenkolleg) 840 at the EMAU and worked on “Host-pathogen interactions in generalized bacterial infections” in conjunction with the EMAU graduate academy, and the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

In 2013 Claudia joined the Loos lab at the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine (IPM), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her current work involves the analyses and interpretation of data from genetically diverse populations primarily being generated by the IPM Biobank with a main focus on obesity and related traits and features of the metabolic syndrome.

claudia.schurmann at mssm.edu

Geneviève Galarneau


Postdoctoral Fellow

Geneviève joined the Institute of Personalized Medicine in 2014. She is particularly interested to leverage the data in the electronic medical record (EMR) for genetic studies on complex traits. She is currently working on the characterization of age-specific associations with quantitative traits using longitudinal EMR data. She aims to perform genetic studies on disease subclassifications that she will identify using the longitudinal data from the EMR, using relevant clinical information and machine-learning methods.

Geneviève completed her BSc in bioinformatics with a specialization in computer science at Université de Montréal in 2009. During her bachelor, she did an internship in machine-learning at Robert-Cedergren Center. She did her PhD in bioinformatics in Dr Guillaume Lettre's laboratory at Montreal Heart Institute. In her doctoral work, she aimed to identify genetic variants associated with clinical severity of sickle cell disease in African-American and Jamaican cohorts. She performed fine-mapping of loci that had been previously associated with fetal hemoglobin levels and undertook genome-wide association studies on quantitative and dichotomous traits using both genotyped and sequencing data.

genevieve.galarneau at mssm.edu

Abhishek Vishnu

Ruth Loos, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Abhi's research interests have focused on examining race/ethnic differences in cardiometabolic diseases, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. While he has focused on differences in subclinical cardiovascular disease markers between East Asian and US populations during the PhD, he is passionate about exploring determinants of disparities in cardiometabolic diseases and outcomes between European, African and Asian ancestral groups during his postdoctoral training.

Abhi completed his medical degree from Seth G S Medical College, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, and worked as a physician in New Delhi. He moved to the US in 2009 to pursue Masters in Public health and went on to complete a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Here, he got expertise on some of the subclinical cardiovascular disease markers working closely with the Ultrasound Research Lab at Pitt.

Abhi has previously shown that traditional definition of metabolic syndrome does not capture the disease as well among non-European groups, especially African-American women, who are susceptible to rapid progression of metabolic severity around the menopause, but have lower severity based on traditionally accepted levels of triglycerides. At Mount Sinai, Abhi is closely examining different Obesity phenotypes in the UK Biobank as well as examining genetic aspects of various anthropometric traits in the PAGE project.

abhishek.vishnu at mssm.edu

Michael Preuss


Postdoctoral Fellow

Michael studied Medical Informatics with major in statistics at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He later completed his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Bioinformatics at the Institute of Biometry and Statistics at the University of Luebeck. During this time he was an analyst on several projects involving the GIANT and CARDIoGRAM consortia.

Michael has also collaborated with the German Neonatal Network (GNN), where he maintained and analyzed genotype data and conducted epidemiological studies involving very low birth weight (VLBW) newborns.

Michael has joined the Loos Lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is primarily interested in analyzing an interpreting genetic data from the Mount Sinai IPM Biobank and UK Biobank with newly developed methods. He also contributes to the PAGE Annotation Group, which has the aim to consolidate annotation-databases, to assure the quality and to simplify the variant annotation for sequencing data.

michael.preuss at mssm.edu

Tuomas Kilpeläinen

Ruth Loos, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Tuomas Kilpeläinen obtained his PhD at the University of Kuopio, Finland, and from 2009 to 2011 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 2012 he became an assistant professor at the Section of Metabolic Genetics at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine.

Tuomas’s main research interest is the identification of genetic variants contributing to the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes and the study of how lifestyle modifies the genetic effects. Thereby he has coordinated or been actively involved in the work of a number of consortia of genome-wide association studies, and a major part of his work has focused on the identification of gene x lifestyle interactions in large-scale meta-analyses of genetic studies.

tuomas.kilpelainen at sund.ku.dk

Kazuo Hara


Former Lab Member

(Assistant Professor)

The overarching goal of my research focuses on translating genetic and epidemiological information into daily clinical practice as well as clarifying the genetic architecture of obesity and its related traits and diseases.

Besides my work in gene discovery for glycemic traits and T2D, I have extensive expertise in a wide range of epidemiological research projects. I am particularly interested in identifying novel biomarkers and risk assessment by combining genetic data and information derived from electronic medical record. I am highly motivated to pursue and try to answer key questions of clinical importance.

Kevin Lu

Ruth Loos, PhD

Former Lab Member

(Postdoctoral Fellow)

Kevin received MD training at Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai. He holds an Msc in Nutrition and Health as well as a PhD in Nutritional Genetics and Genomics from Wageningen University, Wageningen. After earning his degrees, Kevin held a postdoctoral position in Immunological Genetics (psoriasis) at the University of California, San Francisco.

Kevin is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Genetics of Metabolic Traits.

kevin.lu at mssm.edu

Ursula M. Schick


Former Lab Member

(Postdoctoral Fellow)

Ursula is a former a post-doctoral fellow in the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine with Dr. Ruth Loos. She holds a PhD in Public Health Genetics and MS in Genetic Epidemiology from the University of Washington. Her doctoral work focused on large-scale genetic association studies of complex traits including C-reactive protein and hematologic parameters. Her post-doctoral work centered on genetic studies of obesity and related metabolic traits.

ursula.schick at mssm.edu

Adriana Iglesias

Ruth Loos, PhD

Former Visiting Researcher

Adriana received her medical degree from the University El Bosque in Bogotá, Colombia in 2008. She holds an MSc in Genetic Epidemiology from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. In 2011, Adriana started her Ph.D. in primary open-angle glaucoma under the supervision of Prof Cornelia van Duijn and Prof Rob Willemsen at the Erasmus Medical Center. Her Ph.D. focuses on the functional validation of glaucoma loci using zebrafish and in the analysis of common and rare variants associated with glaucoma and its endophenotypes. Adriana has also explored the effect of plasma metabolites in glaucoma and intraocular pressure.

Adriana was a visiting researcher at the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine. She explored the relation between glaucoma and metabolic syndrome.

a.iglesiasgonzalez at erasmusmc.nl