Genomic and Epidemiology Sciences


Social, behavioral and environmental factors interact with biological and genetic factors to increase or reduce risk of disease and effectiveness of treatments. The Genomic and Epidemiology Sciences Program conducts collaborative genetic and epidemiologic research to elucidate mechanisms affecting the diagnosis, progression and treatment of chronic diseases that disproportionately affect minority and health disparity populations. Studies examine interactions of genomic, molecular and metabolic factors with social-behavioral and environmental factors, race/ethnicity, ancestry, and lifestyle, and their effects on the health of minority and health disparity populations.

Acting Head

Leonardo Mariño-Ramirez, Ph.D., Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator

See Staff Profile


See Staff Profile

Scientific Expertise:

Inflammation, immunology, pediatrics and translational research.

Research and Programmatic Interests:

Inflammation, risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), racial/ethnic disparities in the incidence of chronic disease (asthma, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 2 diabetes); effects of discrimination on anthropometric and inflammation measures in chronic disease risk.

Research Projects:

Quantifying Systemic Inflammation and Its Association with Anthropometric Measures in US Adults.
  • We developed a cost-effective, minimally invasive, laboratory-based inflammation index, the Cumulative Inflammation Index (CII). We are using CII for quantitating adiposity-related inflammation, and to examine the relationship between anthropometric measures of intra-abdominal adiposity and adiposity-related inflammation.
Role of Inflammation Correlates on the Relationship between Obesity and Development of Type-2 Diabetes among US Racial/Ethnic Minorities
  • Using composite measures based on the Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA-IR, HOMA-%β, high HOMA-%S), insulin and glucose levels, and body mass index, we developed the Diabetes Typology Model (DTM). This novel tool can be used to distinguish diabetes types using population-based data. Using the DTM we are examining the prospective effects of behavioral and environmental factors on type-2 diabetes mellitus risk.
Health Care Access Disparities and Control of Type-2 Diabetes among US Racial/Ethnic Minorities
  • An important component of eliminating health disparities in the United States is ensuring health access, through continuity and coordination of care and adequate health insurance coverage for those seeking care. For this project, we are evaluating how differences in health care access influence disease control in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus.
Self-Care Disparities
  • Using data from epidemiologic and survey studies we are examining the relationship between community and familial support systems, and the self-care behaviors of young adults diagnosed with chronic diseases.

Page updated November 15, 2021