Renowned Medical Genetics Pioneer to Join LA BioMed Faculty Jerome I. Rotter, MD, brings a Team of Experts to Establish a New Institute Focused on Improving the Health of the Diverse Communities Served by LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center


LOS ANGELES (Feb. 14, 2013) – Jerome I. Rotter, MD, a pioneer in the field of medical genetics, is joining the faculty at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) and bringing a team of experts to found a new institute focused on improving the health of the diverse communities served by LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David I. Meyer, PhD, LA BioMed president and CEO, announced today.

Known as the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, it will employ core technologies used to analyze genomics – the entirety of a human’s genetic makeup – to improve the health of the Hispanic, African-American and Asian populations that compose the patients and family members of the community served by LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

“We are so very fortunate to have such a distinguished investigator and his team bringing their world-class research program to LA BioMed,” said Meyer. “Jerome Rotter and his colleagues Ida Chen, Xiuqing Guo and Kent Taylor are enormously successful researchers whose pioneering studies in genomics and population sciences have been cited by scientists around the globe. They will bring an exciting new dimension of research to LA BioMed, which will have applicability to almost every field of study on our campus.”

Dr. Rotter and his colleagues specialize in the study of the genetics of common chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, in Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians. Such studies serve as the basis for personalized medicine, which are medical treatments and therapies tailor-made for each patient based on gender and racial and ethnic background.

“Our job is to bring modern genomic technologies to the understanding of disease, the prevention of disease and the development of therapies for disease in minority populations,” said Dr. Rotter. “There is no better place for us to conduct our research than LA BioMed where we will have access to a diverse population group, the extensive expertise of the campus investigators in clinical research and a supportive research environment. This appointment will enhance our studies into the influence of ethnicity on disease and enable us to further expand our research into health outcomes among minority populations.”

Dr. Rotter graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a BS in 1970 and an MD in 1973. He first came to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for his medical student rotations in 1971 and joined Harbor’s medical genetics faculty in 1978, becoming Harbor’s director of the section on Genetic Epidemiology and Population Genetics.

He left Harbor in 1986 to join Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he has served as director of research of the Medical Genetics Institute and director of the Division of Medical Genetics. He’s also a UCLA and Cedars professor of medicine, pediatrics and human genetics, and he has held the Board of Governors’ Chair in Medical Genetics at Cedars.

Dr. Rotter pioneered the genetics of common diseases, using approaches of intermediate phenotypes and genetic heterogeneity in diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, lipid disorders, hypertension, statin response and insulin resistance. He holds 20 patents, has published 420 peer-reviewed articles and has authored or co-authored 70 books and book chapters. He has received multiple accolades, including LA BioMed’s highest honor as an LA BioMed “Legend.”

Dr. Rotter and his team will have joint appointments at LA BioMed and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Rotter will be the director for the new LA BioMed institute and will be joined by Dr.  Chen, who will be the director of the new institute’s Laboratory for Biochemistry, Molecular Phenotyping, and Microarray; Dr. Taylor, who will be the director of the new institute’s Laboratory for Molecular Genomics, Bioinformatics and High Throughput Genotyping; and Dr. Guo,  who will be the director of the new institute’s Laboratory of Statistical and Mathematical Genetics. The institute also will have three population centers, each with a focus on a specific minority group (Hispanic, African-American and Asian), and a Center for Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenomics.

Dr. Chen is a UCLA and Cedars professor of medicine and Ob/Gyn who has been the director of the Biochemistry/Molecular Phenotyping Laboratory at Cedars. Prior to that, she spent 20 years at Stanford University. Dr. Chen specializes in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, especially among Hispanics and Asians, who have higher rates of insulin resistance.

Dr. Taylor is a UCLA and Cedars professor of pediatrics who has been the director of Molecular Genotyping at the Medical Genetics Institute at Cedars. He has specialized in the molecular genetics of metabolic, cardiovascular, inflammatory bowel and ocular disorders for 20 years.

Dr. Guo has been the director of Mathematical Genetics at the Medical Genetics Institute at Cedars and is a UCLA Professor of pediatrics. Her research interests include solving problems related to gene mapping studies, especially for complex diseases, and large-scale data sets, such as genome-wide association studies.

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