McMaster University

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David Meyre

David Meyre

Associate Professor

Research Interests

David Meyre completed a PhD in quantitative plant genetics in France. Since 2001, he is working on the elucidation of the genetic bases of obesity and type 2 diabetes. He published the first family-based genome-wide scan for childhood obesity, which identified a significant region for linkage on chromosome 6q. He completed the first successful positional cloning effort for childhood obesity, which identified the positional candidate gene ENPP1. He participated to the identification of FTO, the major susceptibility gene for polygenic obesity. Dr. Meyre was part of the team who published the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) in complex diseases in 2007. In 2009, David Meyre published the first genome-wide association study of extreme obesity in the French population and identified four novel susceptibility-loci. He also conducted the first genome-wide association meta-analysis for early-onset extreme obesity in German and French populations, leading to the identification of two novel childhood obesity predisposing loci. In 2010, he contributed to the identification of the first structural variant (a 600 bp deletion located on the chromosome 16p11.2) associated to highly penetrant forms of severe obesity. In 2012, he identified the third more common form of monogenic obesity (PCSK1 partial deficiency) and proved an important role of the lipid sensor GPR120 in human obesity. He also participated to an international meta-analysis effort involving more than 20,000 kids that identified nine loci contributing to childhood obesity. He also discovered the first common genetic variant reliably associated with major depression disorder in collaboration with Dr Samaan. In 2013, he contributed to the identification of seven novel loci contributing to adult obesity in a study including more than 260,000 people, and discovered a novel gene (SIM1) responsible for a syndromic Mendelian form of childhood obesity.
With 134 articles published up to date (78 appeared in top-tier journals icluding Nature, Science, Nature Genetics...), 11,611 citations and a H-index of 44, Dr. Meyre is an internationally recognized expert in genetic epidemiology of metabolic diseases.
Dr. Meyre's current research interests include:

1. Identification of novel susceptibility genes using high-throughput sequencing / genotyping approaches in populations representative of the worldwide ethnic background
2. Better understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of metabolic diseases
3. Interactions between genes and specific environmental exposures
4. Impact of natural selection on genes
5. Development of new methods and guidelines in genetic epidemiology
6. Usefulness of genetic information in clinical applications (prevention and care)


McMaster University
Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery

telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 21655

Program Area

Metabolism & Nutrition

Research Focus

Genetic epidemiology, obesity, type 2 diabetes, gene identification, high-throughput genotyping, next generation sequencing, physiopathology, gene x environment interactions, ethnic diversity, pharmacogenetics, disease prediction, personalized prevention, genomic medicine

Selected Publications

  • Does genetic heterogeneity account for the divergent risk of type 2 diabetes in South Asian and white European populations? Sohani ZN, Deng WQ, Pare G, Meyre D, Gerstein HC, Anand SS. Diabetologia. 2014 Nov;57(11):2270-81. doi: 10.1007/s00125-014-3354-1. Epub 2014 Aug 22.
  • Robiou-du-Pont S, Yengo L, Vaillant E, Lobbens S, Durand E, Horber F, Lantieri O, Marre M, Balkau B, Froguel P, Meyre D. Common variants near BDNF and SH2B1 show nominal evidence of association with snacking behavior in European populations. J Mol Med (Berl). 2013 Sep; 91(9):1109-15.
  • Samaan Z, Anand SS, Zhang X, Desai D, Rivera M, Pare G, Thabane L, Xie C, Gerstein H, Engert JC, Craig I, Cohen-Woods S, Mohan V, Diaz R, Wang X, Liu L, Corre T, Preisig M, Kutalik Z, Bergmann S, Vollenweider P, Waeber G, Yusuf S, Meyre D. The protective effect of the obesity-associated rs9939609 A variant in fat mass- and obesity-associated gene on depression. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec;18(12):1281-6.
  • Robiou-du-Pont S, Bonnefond A, Yengo L, Vaillant E, Lobbens S, Durand E, Weill J, Lantieri O, Balkau B, Charpentier G, Marre M, Froguel P, Meyre D. Contribution of 24 obesity-associated genetic variants to insulin resistance, pancreatic beta-cell function and type 2 diabetes risk in the French population. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jul;37(7):980-5.