Research Summary

My research interests lie in understanding the biological causes of obesity, diabetes and metabolic disease so that better, and ultimately individualized, treatments can be developed. Our studies use the genetic analysis of model organisms to discover novel genes and molecular pathways contributing to obesity and diabetes risk. Subsequent studies examine how the identified genes affect disease development.

Current work in my laboratory is focused on assessing the contribution of two new genes to the development of obesity and the regulation of food intake. The use of model organisms also allows us to directly examine how the genes we identify interact with environmental factors to influence disease. A second line of ongoing work is studying how the eating behaviours influenced by these genes affect, and are modulated by, stress and other environmental factors. In other avenues of investigation, recent studies have identified novel models with particularly interesting traits for further analysis, including complete resistance to high fat diet-induced metabolic disease and increased insulin secretion. These have set the stage for upcoming genetic and genomic studies to fuel additional gene discovery.

Intellectual Property

Patents

1. Type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes. United States. EP 1554397 A4. 2003-09-05.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2006-06-21

2. Type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes. United States. EP1554397 A2. 2003-09-05.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2005-07-20

3. Diagnostic methods for cardiovascular disease, low HDL-cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels.

Canada. US20050003356 A1. 2002-05-24.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2005-01-06

4. Compositions and methods for modulating HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Canada. US

20040229275 A1. 2004-06-18.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2004-11-18

5. Compositions and methods for modulating HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Canada. US

20040137423 A1. 2003-12-23.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2004-07-15

6. Type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes. United States. US 20040115702 A1. 2003-09-05.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2004-06-17

7. Type 2 diabetes susceptibility genes. United States. WO 2004/022719 A2. 2003-09-05.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2004-03-18

8. Diagnostic methods for cardiovascular disease, low HDL-cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels.

Canada. WO 02/097123 A2. 2002-05-24.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2002-12-05

9. Compositions and methods for modulating HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Canada. EP1239848.

2000-09-01.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2002-09-18

Compositions and methods for modulating HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Canada. WO

01/015676 A2. 2000-09-01.

Patent Status: Completed

Date Issued: 2001-03-08

Bio

Postdoc: University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001-2007)
PhD: Genetics Graduate Program, University of British Columbia (1995-2001)
BSc (Hon): Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University (1994)

Research Experience Summary: My doctoral training was in genetics, where I studied lipoprotein metabolism in animal models, performed human genetic association studies and was involved in the positional cloning of ABCA1 in humans. During my postdoctoral studies I gained extensive knowledge in obesity and diabetes-related phenotyping of mouse models while performing positional cloning studies of a new gene affecting insulin secretion (Sorcs1), and participated in the cloning of a second insulin locus (Tomosyn-2). I now have over 10 years experience in rodent genetics through which I have identified two genes and am closing in on a third, and with the detailed physiological analysis of obesity and type 2 diabetes in mouse models.

Teaching

UBC Student / Postdoctoral Supervision

2013/9 – 2018/4
Principal Supervisor
Connie Leung, Master’s Thesis
Student Degree Start Date: 2013/9
Thesis/Project Title: Delivery of proteins to specific pancreatic islet cells and analysis of
their effects on islet biology

2013/9 – 2014/4
Principal Supervisor
Bennett Chung, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2010/9
Thesis/Project Title: Factors contributing to low insulin in WSB mice

2013/9 – 2014/4
Principal Supervisor
Mingyang Wang, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2010/9
Thesis/Project Title: Assessment of obesity candidate genes and their interaction with
stress

2012/8 – 2014/12
Principal Supervisor
Jenny Dong, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2010/9
Thesis/Project Title: volunteer, not performing a thesis; assisting with Positional cloning
of the Moo1 obesity gene

2012/6 – 2013/4
Principal Supervisor
Angela Hu, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2011/9
Thesis/Project Title: volunteer assisting with many tasks in the laboratory
Project Description: general laboratory assistant

2011/9 – 2012/4
Principal Supervisor
Ka Hong Casey Chan, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2008/9
Thesis/Project Title: WSB/EiJ wild-derived mice have increased feeding mediated
by the ghrelin pathway but are resistant to diet-induced obesity due to increased
thermogenesis
Project Description: Increased browning of white adipose tissue in WSB/EiJ mice

Principal Supervisor
Chenhua Serena Yan, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2009/9
Thesis/Project Title: Identification and characterization of novel body weight regulating
genes in the Moo1 quantitative trait locus
Project Description: Analysis of Moo1 obesity candidate genes

Principal Supervisor
Zi Jun John Wu, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2008/9
Student Degree Received Date: 2012/4
Thesis/Project Title: Towards the Identification of a Novel Obesity Promoting Gene in
BTBR T+ tf/J Mice
Project Description: Genetic fine mapping of a novel obesity gene

2010/9 – 2014/4
Principal Supervisor
Man-Ki Maggie Ho, Master’s Thesis
Student Degree Start Date: 2010/9
Thesis/Project Title: Insulin secretion in the PWD and WSB wild-derived inbred strains
Project Description: Physiological basis of insulin secretion phenotypes in PWD/PhJ
and WSB/EiJ mice

2009/9 – 2010/8
Principal Supervisor
Brian Le, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2007/9
Thesis/Project Title: volunteer with various laboratory tasks
Project Description: General laboratory assistant
Present Position: unknown

2009/1 – 2012/3
Principal Supervisor
Katie Ting Yan Lee, Master’s Thesis
Student Degree Start Date: 2009/1
Student Degree Received Date: 2012/3
Thesis/Project Title: Novel wild-derived mouse models of obesity and diabetes
resistance
Project Description: Obesity and diabetes susceptibility in PWD/PhJ and WSB/EiJ wildderived
inbred mice

2009/1 – 2010/4
Principal Supervisor
Man Ki Maggie Ho, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2004/9
Student Degree Received Date: 2010/4
Thesis/Project Title: Gene expression analysis of GWAS diabetes genes
Project Description: Regulation of GWAS diabetes genes by nutritional status

Principal Supervisor
Yi-Hsuan Amy Hung, Bachelor’s Honours
Student Degree Start Date: 2007/9
Thesis/Project Title: Potential mouse model to study obesity and diabetes: PWD/PhJ
mice fed on high fat diet show resistance to diet-induced obesity and delayed onset of
insulin resistance
Project Description: Obesity resistance in female PWD mice; Adipocyte hypertrophy,
inflammation and apoptosis during the development of obesity

Principal Supervisor
Piriya Yoganathan, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2007/9
Thesis/Project Title: Gene expression analysis of GWAS obesity genes
Project Description: Regulation of obesity GWAS genes by nutritional status

2008/1 – 2009/4
Principal Supervisor
Shadi Mahmoodi, Bachelor’s
Student Degree Start Date: 2006/9
Thesis/Project Title: Sequence analysis of Moo1 candidate genes
Project Description: Genetic fine mapping and sequence analysis of a novel obesity
gene

Awards

2013/3 – 2018/2 Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of Obesity and Diabetes

2008/7 – 2014/6 Career Investigator
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

2008/3 – 2013/2 Canada Research Chair in the Genetics of Obesity and Diabetes

Publications

 
Comprehensive List
Google Scholar

Selected Publications

  1. Goodarzi M.O., Lehman D.M., Taylor K.D., Guo X., Cui J., Quinones M.J., Clee S.M., Yandell B.S., Blangero J., Hsueh W.A., Yang H., Attie A.D., Stern M.P., and Rotter J.I. (2007) SORCS1: A novel human type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene suggested by the mouse. Diabetes 56:1922-1929.
  2. Clee S.M. and Attie A.D. (2007) The genetic landscape of type 2 diabetes in mice. Endocrine Reviews 28:48-83.
  3. Clee S.M., Yandell B., Schueler K.M., Rabaglia M.E., Richards O.R., Raines S.M., Kabara E.A., Klass D.M., Mui, E.T.-K., Stapleton D.S., Gray-Keller M.P., Young M.B., Stoehr J.P., Lan H., Boronenkov I., Raess P.W., Flowers M.T., and Attie A.D. (2006) Positional cloning of SorCS1, a type 2 diabetes quantitative trait locus. Nat. Genet. 38:688-693.
  4. Clee S.M., Nadler S.N., and Attie A.D. Genetic and genomic studies of the BTBR ob/ob mouse model of type 2 diabetes. (2005) Am. J. Ther. 12:491-8.
  5. Stoehr J.P., Byers J.E., Clee S.M., Lan H., Boronenkov I., Schueler K.M., Yandell B.S., and Attie A.D. (2004) Detection of major quantitative trait loci controlling body weight variation in ob/ob mice. Diabetes 53:245-249.
Office Phone
6048274271
Office
5352