Participant 6: HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM MUENCHEN DEUTSCHES FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM FUER GESUNDHEIT UND UMWELT GMBH (HMGU), Munich, Germany / Dr. Christian Gieger

Organization: The Helmholtz Center Munich – German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) is a research institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers with approximately 1,900 associates in 38 institutes and research units. As Europe’s leading research center focused on Environmental Health, HMGU investigates chronic and complex diseases at the interface of health and environment aiming to promote the application of future medicine and to develop new, personalized approaches of prevention, diagnosis and therapy. The center has diverse genetic, genomic and molecular technology platforms.

Team: Dr. Christian Gieger received his PhD in Statistics in 1998. His professional career included more than 10 years at leading German research institutions but also several years in IT industry. During the last 6 years Dr. Gieger was author of 155 peer-reviewed publications in leading international genetic and medical journals, among which 8 in Nature and 38 in Nature Genetics. These publications have been cited more than 8,200 times (h-index=42). His major research interests are genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. With his group he participated, and had for some phenotypes the lead, in multinational genome-wide meta-analysis consortia (GIANT, ENGAGE, DIAGRAM, MAGIC, CARDIoGRAM, HaemGen, etc.). A particular focus of his work is the development of integration and analysis strategies for high-dimensional data like metabolic profiles, epigenetics, genomic and genetic data. He is or has been partner of several EU funded projects (ENGAGE (EU, FP6); MIMOmics – Methods for Integrated analysis of Multiple Omics datasets (EU, FP7); COMBI-BIO, Development of COMBInatorial BIOmarkers for subclinical atherosclerosis (EU, FP7)). Prof. Dr. Konstantin Strauch received a PhD in Theoretical Biology in 2000 from the University of Bonn, where he also completed his habilitation in 2005. From 2005 to 2010 he was professor of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology at the Philipps University Marburg. As of 2011, he is head of the newly founded Institute of Genetic Epidemiology at HMGU and holds the chair of Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Munich.
Konstantin Strauch’s main research interests are the development and application of statistical methods for linkage and association analysis, for example regarding gene-gene and gene-environment interactions as well as rare genetic variants. Dr. Melanie Waldenberger has a PhD in Natural Sciences (2009) and a Postgraduate Master of public health and epidemiology (2008). Her research has focused on genetic and epigenetic determinants of complex diseases. Since 2011, Dr. Melanie Waldenberger is head of the research group “complex diseases”. The group has particular experience in conducting high throughput genotyping end genome-wide methylation projects. The group is part of the Genome Analysis Center (GAC), a high throughput genotyping center offering several state of the art laboratory technologies (MALDI-TOF MS, Affymetrix, Illumina). Dr. Melanie Waldenberger has participated in several large international initiatives such as ENGAGE, BBMRI, ArtheroRemo and BioSHaRE and is in charge of the KORA biobank.

Main Tasks: Genotyping and statistical data analysis. Leader: WP3; Participant: WP4, WP6