B.S. Bogazici University, 1998M.S. The Pennsylvania State University, 2000Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2009Post-Doc University of California, Los Angeles, 2015

"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, Associate 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.


  • UVA Shannon Center Mid-Career Fellow 2023
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association 2021
  • 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

  • Predicting mechanisms of action at genetic loci associated with discordant effects on type 2 diabetes and abdominal fat accumulation. eLife 2023 Jun 16;12:e79834 ABS Aberra YT, Ma L, Björkegren JLM, Civelek M.
  • Network preservation analysis reveals dysregulated metabolic pathways in human vascular smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching. Circ: Genom Precis Med 2023 Jun 30:e003781 ABS Perry RN, Albarracin D, Aherrahrou R, Civelek M.
  • Genetic Regulation of SMC Gene Expression and Splicing Predict Causal CAD Genes. Circ Res. 2023 Feb 3;132(3):323-338. ABS Aherrahrou R, Lue D, Perry RN, Aberra YT, Khan MD, Soh JY, Örd T, Singha P, Yang Q, Gilani H, Benavente ED, Wong D, Hinkle J, Ma L, Sheynkman GM, den Ruijter HM, Miller CL, Björkegren JLM, Kaikkonen MU, Civelek M.
  • Adipocyte-specific modulation of KLF14 expression in mice leads to sex-dependent impacts in adiposity and lipid metabolism. Diabetes 2022 Apr 1;71(4):677-693. ABS Yang Q, Hinkle J, Reed JN, Aherrahrou R, Xu Z, Harris TE, Stephenson EJ, Musunuru K, Keller SR, Civelek M.
  • Genetic regulation of atherosclerosis-relevant phenotypes in human vascular smooth muscle cells. Circ. Res., 2020;127(12):1552-1565. ABS Aherrahrou R, Guo L, Nagraj VP, Aguhob A, Hinkle J, Chen L, Soh JY, Lue D, Alencar GF, Boltjes A, van der Laan SW, Farber E, Fuller D, Anane-Wae R, Akingbesote N, Manichaikul AW, Ma L, Kaikkonen MU, Bjorkegren JLM, Onengut-Gumuscu S, Pasterkamp G, Miller
  • Sex differences in human adipose tissue gene expression and genetic regulation involve adipogenesis. Genome Research. 2020; 10:1379-1392. ABS Anderson WD, Soh JY, Innis SE, Dimanche A, Ma L, Langefeld CD, Comeau ME, Das SK, Schadt EE, Bjorkegren JLM, Civelek M.

Courses Taught

  • BME 4350: BME Data Science

Featured Grants & Projects

  • Leducq Foundation Global Network of Excellence

    AtheroGEN: Identification and targeting of sex-specific mechanisms of atherosclerosis

  • NIH R01HL156120

    Systems Genetics of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypes

  • NIH R01DK118287

    The Role of Adipocyte KLF14 in Metabolic Syndrome

  • UVA Coulter

    Design and optimization of particle-based therapeutics for modulating adipocyte signaling in obesity


    Impact of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors on systemic inflammation in women with coronary microvascular disease

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Transforming STEM Learning Environments: Collective Action for a Shared Future