Professor Juergen Reichardt
As human geneticists and biochemists we wish to understand how the human genome in conjunction with the environment produces the multitude of human phenotypes. We are particularly interested in the contribution of human genetic variation to common, complex significant public health problems. We also have an interest in understanding the genetics of human metabolism and genetic variation thereof.
This laboratory has a longstanding tradition of characterizing human galactose-metabolic enzymes and associated diseases. We are currently also investigating two complex disease phenotypes with significant public health impact: various cancers and heart disease. Our strategy is to dissect these diseases through a step-wise, candidate gene approach. Our systematic choice of candidate genes for these diseases was dictated by the hypothesized involvement of particular metabolic pathways in pathogenesis. In prostate cancer we are currently investigating three androgen metabolic genes since androgens have been reported to regulate cell division in the prostate. We have focused on the steroid 5α-reductase type II (SRD5A2) locus and are currently exploring also the HSD3B2 and HSD17B3 genes. Investigations into colon cancer and atherosclerosis are also under way.