Systems Genetics and Precision Health at the Steinmetz Lab

One of the most daunting obstacles in biomedicine is the complex nature of most phenotypes (including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some rare diseases) due to interactions between multiple genetic variants and environmental influences. A central challenge is to understand how genetic and environmental perturbations affect health, wellness and disease. Our research is directed at understanding such complex traits. To do so, we develop novel genomic approaches to study the molecular processes that link genotype to phenotype, identify the causal underlying factors, and quantify their contributions. We investigate inter-individual variation at the level of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome, which we integrate with higher-level phenotypes.

We place a strong emphasis on the development of new technologies, leveraging the Stanford Genome Technology Center’s strengths in this area. Some engineering applications we aim to develop include novel biosensors for detection of minute quantities of biological material, and single-cell approaches to investigate genome and transcriptome complexity. Through developing such technologies, we will work with the Center to reduce the cost and increase the accuracy and throughput of biomedical research and health care. Ultimately, we strive to develop approaches that will enable personalized, preventative medicine.

A description of our current projects can be found here.


Sensing a revolution: How new fully integrated biosensors that monitor molecular and physiological parameters throughout our bodies are set to revolutionize medicine and personalize healthcare.
Steinmetz, L. M., & Jones, A. (2016). Sensing a revolution. Molecular Systems Biology, 12(4), 867.

Recent scientific presentations:
2016 International Symposium on Emerging Technologies, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle: ” Biosensors for personal molecular monitoring of health and disease“.


Pictures: Copyright EMBL, Credits Petra Riedinger, 1. EMBL Conference Omics and Personalized Health