By  Jennifer T. Aminuddin
Mete Civelek uses big data analytics to understand the molecular pathways of disease and develops personalized medicine approaches to cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

Mete Civelek, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a resident faculty member of the University of Virginia's Center for Public Health Genomics, has received the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association. 

The five-year grant supports established investigators who are in a rapid growth phase of their careers, who have established records of accomplishments and who continue to show extraordinary promise. 

Civelek's research proposal was titled “Systems Genetics of Sex Differences in Cardiometabolic Disorders.” He will use the award to study how the genetic makeup of individuals affects blood vessel cells and fat tissue differently in men and women. 

Members of the Civelek Lab will use a systems genetics approach to identify the molecular and cellular mechanism of genomic regions that show sex-specific association with coronary artery disease risk in humans. 

They will then expand these studies using a genome-wide approach to identify critical regulators of transcription that lead to sex differences in vascular smooth muscle cells and adipose tissue.