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Mao  Fu

Mao Fu M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Academic Title: Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Medicine
Location: Howard Hall, 484
Phone: (410) 706-1065
Fax: (410) 706-1622

Research Interests:

My major research interests are to identify susceptibility loci of common, complex diseases that particularly focus on obesity and type 2 diabetes. The genetic contribution to obesity and diabetes has been established through family studies, investigations of parent-offspring relationships, and the study of twins and adopted children. Identification of genes that increase susceptibility to obesity would impact public health by providing basic biological and clinical insights that could lead to individualized and more effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Since 1995, Dr. Alan R. Shuldiner and colleagues have worked closely with the Amish community to study the genetics of a number of complex diseases and traits. To date 3,500 subjects have been recruited, 3,222 of whom have been phenotyped for obesity and related traits. The overall objective of my project is to discover new genes for obesity and diabetes through an agnostic genome-wide association approach and to characterize these novel genes functionally. My experiences in genetics and cell and molecular biology, coupled with my clinical training in endocrinology, have deepened my understanding of the complexity of obesity and diabetes.


Fu M*, Kazlauskaite R, Baracho Mde F, Santos MG, Brandao-Neto J, Villares S, Celi FS, Wajchenberg BL, Shuldiner AR. Mutations in Gng3lg and AGPAT2 in Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy and Brunzell Syndrome: Phenotype variability suggests important modifier effects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004, 89(6): 2916-2922.

Fu M*, Damcott CM, Sabra M, Pollin TI, Ott SH, Wang J, Garant MJ, Oâ?TConnell JR, Mitchell BD, Shuldiner AR. Polymorphism in the Calsequestrin 1 Gene on Chromosome 1q21 Is Associated with Type 2 Diabetes in the Old Order Amish. Diabetes. 2004, 53(12): 3292-3299.

Sabra M, Damcott C, Fu M, Ott SH, O'Connell JR, Mitchell BD, Shuldiner AR. Vesicle-associated membrane protein 4 (VAMP4), a positional candidate gene on 1q24-q25, is not associated with type 2 diabetes in the Old Order Amish. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism. 2005, 85: 133-139.

Wu B, Takahashi J, Fu M, Cheng H, Matsumura S, Taniguchi H. Variants of calpain-10 gene and its association with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a Chinese population. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2005, 68(5): 155-161.

Fu M*, Sabra M., Damcott C., Pollin P.I., Ma L., Oâ?TConnell J., Mitchell B.D., Baier L.J., Shuldiner A.R. Evidence that ARHGEF11on 1q21-q24 is a type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene. Diabetes. 2007, 56(5), 1363-1368.

Ma L, Hanson RL, Que LN, Cali AM, Fu M, Mack JL, Infante AM, Kobes S, International Type 2 Diabetes 1q Consortium, Boqardus C, Shuldiner AR, Baier LJ. Variants in ARHGEF11, a candidate gene for the linkage to type 2 diabetes on chromosome 1q, are nominally associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in Pima Indian. Diabetes, 2007, 56(5): 1454-1459.

Rampersaud E, Damcott CM, Fu M, Shen H, McArdle P, Shi X, Shelton J, Yin J, Chang YP, Ott SH, Zhang L, Zhao Y, Mitchell BD, O'Connell J, Shuldiner AR. Identification of novel candidate genes for type 2 diabetes from a genome-wide association scan in the Old Order Amish: evidence for replication from diabetes-related quantitative traits and from independent populations. Diabetes, 2007, 56(12): 3053-3062.

Rampersaud E, Mitchell BD, Pollin TI, Fu M, Shen H, O'Connell JR, Ducharme JL, Hines S, Sack P, Naglieri R, Shuldiner AR, Snitker S. Physical activity and the association of common FTO gene variants with body mass index and obesity. Arch Intern Med. 2008, 168(16):1791-7.

Heard-Costa NL*, Zillikens MC*, Monda KL*, Johansson A*, Harris TB*, Fu M*, Haritunians T*, Feitosa MF*, Aspelund T, Eiriksdottir G, Garcia M, Launer LJ, Smith AV, Mitchell BD, McArdle PF, Shuldiner AR, Bielinski SJ, Boerwinkle E, Brancati F, Demerath EW, Pankow JS, Arnold AM, Chen YD, Glazer NL, McKnight B, Psaty BM, Rotter JI, Amin N, Campbell H, Gyllensten U, Pattaro C, Pramstaller PP, Rudan I, Struchalin M, Vitart V, Gao X, Kraja A, Province MA, Zhang Q, Atwood LD, Dupuis J, Hirschhorn JN, Jaquish CE, O'Donnell CJ, Vasan RS, White CC, Aulchenko YS, Estrada K, Hofman A, Rivadeneira F, Uitterlinden AG, Witteman JC, Oostra BA, Kaplan RC, Gudnason V, O'Connell JR, Borecki IB, van Duijn CM, Cupples LA, Fox CS, North KE. NRXN3 is a novel locus for waist circumference: a genome-wide association study from the CHARGE Consortium. PLoS Genet. 2009; 5(6):e1000539.

Prokopenko I, Zeggini E, Hanson RL, Mitchell BD, Rayner NW, Akan P, Baier L, Das SK, Elliott KS, Fu M, Frayling TM, Groves CJ, Gwilliam R, Scott LJ, Voight BF, Hattersley AT, Hu C, Morris AD, Ng M, Palmer CN, Tello-Ruiz M, Vaxillaire M, Wang CR, Stein L, Chan J, Jia W, Froguel P, Elbein SC, Deloukas P, Bogardus C, Shuldiner AR, McCarthy MI; for the International Type 2 Diabetes 1q. Linkage disequilibrium mapping of the replicated type 2 diabetes linkage signal on chromosome 1q. Diabetes. 2009, 58(7): 1704-9.

Cattaert T, Urrea V, Naj AC, De Lobel L, De Wit V, Fu M, Mahachie John JM, Shen H, Calle ML, Ritchie MD, Edwards TL, Van Steen K. FAM-MDR: a flexible family-based multifactor dimensionality reduction technique to detect epistasis using related individuals. PLoS One. 2010, 5(4):e10304