B.S. Bogazici University, 1998M.S. The Pennsylvania State University, 2000Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2009Post-Doc University of California, Los Angeles, 2015
Mete Civelek, UVA Biomedical Engineering Researcher

"We study how the genes we inherit from our parents affect heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk with a goal of developing new therapies customized to the individual."

Mete Civelek, Assistant Professor of BME

Mete Civelek uses big data analytics to understand the molecular pathways of disease and develops personalized medicine approaches to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. He is an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and a resident faculty at the Center for Public Health Genomics at the University of Virginia. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular genetics in the laboratory of Jake Lusis at the University of California, Los Angeles, he joined UVA faculty in 2016.

His laboratory studies the complex interactions among genes and environment that increase our risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Although diet, physical activity, and smoking affect our disease risk our genetic makeup play an equally important role. In the last ten years we learnt more about the genes that affect our disease risk than the previous 50 years thanks to technological advances in genome sequencing. But for majority of the genes we still do not know how they affect the development of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. His laboratory takes a holistic approach by carefully studying various human populations to connect the dots between genes and disease. They use data science, systems biology, and traditional molecular biology approaches to discover novel disease pathways in human cells and in mice. Their ultimate goal is to develop new therapies customized to individual heart disease or type 2 diabetes patients.

Dr. Civelek is the recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities.


  • American Heart Association Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Recognition Award 2020
  • Donchian Teaching Fellowship 2018
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award 2016
  • NIH Pathway to Independence 2014
  • ASHG/Charles J. Epstein Trainee Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Research 2014
  • George Popjak Award for Outstanding Contributions to Atherosclerosis Research 2013
  • Prof. Dr. Turgut Noyan Award – Boğaziçi University Dept. of Chemical Engineering 1998

Research Interests

  • Cardiovascular Bioengineering
  • Systems Biology
  • Predictive Modeling for Health
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
open photo of Mete Civelek

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Mete Civelek uses big data analytics to understand the molecular pathways of disease and develops personalized medicine approaches to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

In the News

Selected Publications

  • Regulatory variants at KLF14 influence type 2 diabetes risk via a female-specific effect on adipocyte size and body composition Small KS, Todorčević M, Civelek M, El-Sayed Moustafa JS, Wang X, Simon MM, Fernandez-Tajes J, Mahajan A, Horikoshi M, Hugill A, Glastonbury CA, Quaye L, Neville MJ, Sethi S, Yon M, Pan C, Che N, Viñuela A, Tsai P-C, Nag A, Buil A, Thorleifsson G
  • Genetic regulation of adipose gene expression and cardio-metabolic traits. Am J. Hum. Genet. 2017; 100(3) Civelek M., Wu Y., Pan C., Raulerson C.K., Ko A., He A., Tilford C., Saleem N.K., Stancakova A., Scott L.J., Fuchsberger C., Stringham H.M., Jackson A.U., Narisu N., Chines P.S., Small K.S., Kuusisto J., Parks B.W., Pajukanta P., Kirchgessner T., Collins
  • Systems genetics approaches to understand complex traits. Nat Rev Genet 2014; 15(1):34-48 Civelek M, Lusis AJ.
  • Genetic regulation of human adipose microRNA expression and its consequences for metabolic traits. Hum Mol Genet. 2013; 22(15):3023-37. Civelek M, Hagopian R, Pan C, Che N, Yang WP, Kayne PS, Saleem NK, Cederberg H, Kuusisto J, Gargalovic PS, Kirchgessner TG, Laakso M, Lusis AJ.
  • Chronic endoplasmic reticulum stress activates unfolded protein response in arterial endothelium in regions of susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Civelek M, Manduchi E, Riley RJ, Stoeckert CJ Jr, Davies PF.
  • Coronary artery endothelial transcriptome in vivo: identification of endoplasmic reticulum stress and enhanced reactive oxygen species by gene connectivity network analysis. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2011 Jun; 4(3):243-52. Civelek M, Manduchi E, Riley RJ, Stoeckert CJ Jr, Davies PF.

Courses Taught

  • BME 4350: BME Data Science

Featured Grants & Projects

  • NIH R01DK118287

    The Role of Adipocyte KLF14 in Metabolic Syndrome

  • NIH R00HL121172

    Sytems Genetics Analysis of Cardiometabolic Trait Loci in Humans and Mice

  • R21 HL135230

    Functional Characterization of Coronary Artery Disease Loci

  • NSF 1816409

    Characterization and Mitigation of Noise in a Live DNA Storage Channel