The primary focus of the Pezzolesi Research Team’s research is to understand the etiology of diabetes, diabetic complications, and chronic kidney disease using high-throughput next-generation sequencing technology and integrated ‘omics’-based approaches. We know that genetic factors contribute to the susceptibility of diabetic kidney disease, the major complication facing patients with diabetes and the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States. However, despite intense effort, few predisposing genes and/or variants for this disease have been identified. To accelerate these efforts, our laboratory is integrating large data resources, including electronic medical record data from the University of Utah Hospital and genealogical data from the Utah Population Database, and combining this with next-generation sequencing to perform whole genome sequencing-based gene discovery in families enriched for diabetic kidney disease. This same approach is being applied to accelerate our search for genes that contribute to diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Additionally, our laboratory is also investigating circulating microRNAs as novel biomarkers of kidney disease, including progressive renal function decline in patients with diabetes.
Our efforts to understand the basis of diabetes, its complications, and chronic kidney disease begin with the valuable contributions of individuals and their families who share our passion to better prevent, diagnose, and treat these diseases.
If you or a family member are interested in participating in or learning more about our research, please contact us at:
We work with closely with numerous collaborators at the University of Utah, including the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, the Utah Center for Genomic Discovery, the Center for Genomic Medicine, and the Utah Population Database.
We also collaborate with the leading researchers from across the United States, including researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, City of Hope, the University of Michigan, and the Jackson Laboratory.
If you are interested in joining, please go to the recruitment page.
We are grateful for funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Diabetic Complications Consortium, the Driving Out Diabetes, the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, the Utah Genome Project, Janssen, American Diabetes Association, and renalytix.
Featured on UHealth: Detection of Rare Genetic Mutation in One Family Could Lead to Better Diabetes Treatments15. July 2019
Featured on 2KUTV: U of U researchers using genealogical data in search for diabetic kidney disease cure20. Sept 2017
Our lab's research efforts make headlines: New research from U of U could lead to prevention of diabetic complications.