Andrew DePass, a senior double major in biology and computer science at Quinnipiac University, utilized the UK Biobank to investigate the genetic basis of poor COVID-19 outcomes in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes in a gene-environment interaction study.
Type 2 Diabetes(T2D) is a disease that effects approximately 10 percent of the global population. T2D has been implicated as a comorbidity leading to worse outcomes in individuals with COVID-19 after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Recent investigations have shown some genetic signals for COVID-19 outcomes. The Broad has provided me with the opportunity to engage in bioinformatics research that has strong implications for the benefit of society. The opportunity to conduct COVID-19 research alongside highly accomplished leaders in the field has been invaluable and has equipped me with tools that I will rely on throughout my career.Here, we investigate if T2D modifies the associations of common genetic variants with COVID-19 outcomes. We performed a gene-environment interaction analysis using the UK Biobank data resource in cohorts of European, African, and South Asian ancestry. We considered T2D status as an environmental factor, COVID-19 death as our outcome, and utilized covariates of age, sex, and genetic principal components. Our results have implicated regions of the genome whose effect on COVID-19 is modified by T2D. This study also identified possible targets for COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
Project: Genetic Associations between Common Variants in the Genetic Architecture of Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and COVID-19 Outcomes
Mentor: Dr. Alisa Manning, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine