Genomic Physiology and Translation in the Hansen Group

The Hansen Group investigates the human genome and the human global microbiome to characterize the impact of these genomes on health and disease and to identify interactions between the host and the microbiome. The findings can lead to potent translational strategies for prevention and treatment of metabolic disease.

Research focus

In the molecular understanding of metabolic diseases a major gap exists between basic genetic and microbiome discoveries and their impact on physiology and the potential for clinical translation. The Hansen Group aims to bridge this gap by bringing together genomics discovery and epidemiology, culminating in a physiological and clinical understanding of genomics in metabolism.
To study the role of selected genetic variants in human metabolism, we perform physiology and intervention studies based on recruit-by-genotype principles. We also investigate families and populations with extreme metabolic phenotypes and perform physiology and intervention studies in selected individuals with specific microbiome signatures. Finally, we investigate targeted clinical management of carriers of selected high-impact variations in the human genome.

Main findings

”Loss-of-function variants in ADCY3 increase risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes”
Published in Nature Genetics in 2018 this study identifies a variant in ADCY3 (encoding adenylate cyclase 3) associated with markedly increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the Greenlandic population and observes an enrichment of rare ADCY3 loss-of-function variants among individuals with type 2 diabetes in trans-ancestry cohorts.

“A common Greenlandic TBC1D4 variant confers muscle insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes”
Published in Nature in 2014 this study uses array-based genotyping and exome sequencing to perform association mapping of type 2 diabetes related quantitative traits in Greenlandic individuals without known diabetes.

“Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers”
Published in Nature in 2013 this study analyses the gut microbial gene composition in non-obese and obese individuals and finds marked differences in gene and species richness and demonstrates that analysis of just a few bacterial marker species is sufficient to distinguish between high and low bacterial richness.

Staff of the Hansen Group

Group leader: Professor Torben Hansen

The Hansen Group