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Howard J. Edenberg, PhD
Dr. Edenberg received his PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1973, working in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Hanawalt on DNA repair in mammalian cells. Postdoctoral training with Dr. Joel Huberman (MIT) and Dr. Melvin DePamphilis (Harvard Med School) focused on DNA replication, and included the development of in vitro systems in which to study SV40 replication. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1977, continuing to work on both DNA replication and repair, as well as transcription and the effects of UV irradiation on all of these processes. He became interested in genes involved in alcohol metabolism, and cloned several alcohol dehydrogenase genes (ADHs). He has continued to study their regulation in different cell types. He developed the first PCR-based methods for genotyping variants in the ADH and aldehyde dehydrogenase genes, and with colleagues demonstrated that functional variants in three of these genes affected risk for alcoholism. This led to an interest in alcoholism and other complex genetic diseases, and in applying genomics to understand them. He founded and until recently ran the Center for Medical Genomics, bringing genomic technology to the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is a leader in a major family study, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, as well as in studies of how alcohol exposure affects gene expression in the brain. He is also a leader in a global initiative to carry out meta-analyses of alcohol- and other substance-use disorders, under the framework of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.
Titles & Appointments
- Chancellor's Professor, IUPUI
- Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
- Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics
Identification of genes involved in complex genetic diseases.
We are studying the genetics of complex diseases, especially alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Complex diseases affect large numbers of people and represent the forefront of genetic research today. There are both genetic and environmental components to the risk, and the genetic component is divided among many genes. I am involved in 2 large projects in this area. I am national co-PI and Indiana site PI of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), a multi-center collaborative family study designed to find the genes that affect risk for alcoholism. We are using the tools of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics to identify specific genes that influence the vulnerability to alcoholism and related conditions. I am also a co-PI of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders working group, aiming to join the data from many groups to meta-analyze these disorders in very large numbers of subjects, which will allow us to identify genes affecting the risk of those disorders. I am also involved in studying the genetics of bipolar disorder.
Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics.
Functional genomics is an approach to determining biological meaning of the vast amounts of genomic information currently accumulating. We are using high throughput analytical approaches (e.g. RNA sequencing) coupled with bioinformatics as well as targeted studies of individual genes in studies of complex genetic diseases, response to treatment, the neurobiology of animal models of alcoholism, and epigenetics.
Regulation of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene family and the role of ADH and ALDH polymorphisms in risk for alcoholism.
There are 7 human alcohol dehydrogenase genes that evolved from a common precursor, but now differ in the tissues in which they are expressed. We are mapping cis-acting elements and examining epigenetic mechanisms of regulation. We are looking for tissue-specific elements that regulate these genes, and the transcription factors that control them. We are studying the effects of polymorphisms, particularly in regulatory regions, on gene regulation and the risk for alcoholism.
Integrating studies at these different levels, from individual genetic variations through cell models, animal models, and large-scale human studies is a promising approach toward understanding, preventing and treating devastating complex diseases.
An endophenotype approach to the genetics of alcohol dependence: a genome wide association study of fast beta EEG in families of African ancestry.
Genome-wide polygenic scores for age at onset of alcohol dependence and association with alcohol-related measures.
Ethanol treatment of lymphoblastoid cell lines from alcoholics and non-alcoholics causes many subtle changes in gene expression.
Gene expression changes in serotonin, GABA-A receptors, neuropeptides and ion channels in the dorsal raphe nucleus of adolescent alcohol-preferring (P) rats following binge-like alcohol drinking.
ADH1B is associated with alcohol dependence and alcohol consumption in populations of European and African ancestry.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Society of Human Genetics
International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism
Research Society on Alcoholism
International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
Desc: Elected Fellow
Org: Research Society on Alcoholism
Desc: Distinguished Researcher Award
Org: Research Society on Alcoholism
Desc: Tharp Award for Research on Alcoholism
Org: Indiana University School of Medicine
Desc: Faculty Teaching Award