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Greek Researcher Contributes to Identification of New Genes for Diabetes

The largest-ever analysis of genetic data related to type 1 diabetes has uncovered new genes associated with the common metabolic disease, which affects 200 million people worldwide.

The findings of the genome-wide association study (GWAS), conducted by Hakon Hakonarson collaborated with Constantine Polychronakos from Greece, M.D., director of Pediatric Endocrinology at McGill University, add to knowledge of gene networks involved in the origin of this complex disorder, in which patients depend on frequent insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.

The study leaders Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Constantine Polychronakos, whose work has been published in the Plos Genetics magazine, have analyzed and compared ( meta-analysis) DNA data from six large publicly available datasets of type 1 diabetes. The six studies included data from approximately 10,000 individuals with the disease and 17,000 control subjects.

Dr. Polychronakos obtained his MD degree from the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki (1972). He then immigrated to Canada where he trained in Paediatrics and Paediatric Endocrinology. He has been on faculty at McGill (Department of Paediatrics, associate in Experimental medicine and Human Genetics) since 1983, at the rank of full professor since 2000.

His research work focuses on the genetics of autoimmune diabetes, while many articles related to his research have been published.

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