Scholar Info

Jennifer Wessel

Assistant Professor

Epidemiology & Medicine Diabetes Translational Research Center


Genetic Risk for Primordial Prevention of Cardiometabolic Disease

The cost of sequencing an individual’s entire genome is dropping exponentially, and is becoming clinically cost-effective. With the recent advances in technology and the rapid pace of human genetic discovery through multi-study, multi-national consortia, a large number of robust associations with genetic variation and T2D and CVD have been identified. Thus, the delivery of genetic risk information to individuals has become a reality. Genetic factors alone can be used early in the life course to identify children at high-risk of developing T2D/CVD, before traditional risk factors develop (e.g. excess weight) to promote “primordial prevention” (i.e., prevention of the risk factors). The clinical utility of genetic risk needs to be demonstrated for genetics to become part of routine clinical care and public health. Currently, we are conducting research for both the discovery of novel genetic risk factors and to demonstrate the utility of genetic risk to promote risk reducing behaviors early in the life course.