Research: Physiological Genomics
Animal geneticists have developed powerful methods for identifying genetically superior parents. These are based on pedigree information and performance records, the only information on genotype available until recently. The observed performance is a combination of genotype, environment and their interactions, so identifying superior genetics is difficult. But the success of this methodology is evident from an example of milk production in the Jersey breed. (Cow Genetic Trends, AIPL)
But with the recent developments in genomics, geneticists now can actually observe the genotype of individuals and the biochemical differences caused by genotype. The departmental geneticists' primary mission is to use genetic technology to better understand physiological systems. Of particular interest is energy metabolism and inflammation related to adipose tissue. By better understanding physiological mechanisms, healthier and more productive animals can be produced.
The UT Obesity Research Center is dedicated to developing interdisciplinary approaches for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity that will decrease obesity-related complications, and help people achieve long-term maintenance of a healthy weight.