David Meyre completed a PhD in quantitative plant genetics in France. Since 2001, he is working on the elucidation of the genetic bases of human obesity and its complications. In 2004, he published the first family-based genome-wide scan for childhood obesity and severe adult obesity using microsatellites, which identified significant regions for linkage on chromosome 5q and 6q. He completed the two first successful positional cloning efforts for childhood obesity and severe adult obesity, which identified the positional candidate genes ENPP1 and PCSK1. Together with Christian Dina, he identified FTO, the major susceptibility gene for polygenic obesity in 2007. The same year, David Meyre was part of the team who published the first genome-wide association study for type 2 diabetes. In 2009, David Meyre completed the first genome-wide association study of extreme obesity in the French population and identified four novel susceptibility-loci. In 2010, he conducted the first genome-wide association meta-analysis for early-onset extreme obesity in German and French populations, leading to the identification of two novel childhood obesity predisposing loci. In 2012, he identified the third more common form of monogenic obesity (PCSK1 partial deficiency) and demonstrated an important role of the lipid sensor GPR120 in human obesity. He also discovered the first molecular link between obesity and major depression.

In 2013, he contributed to the identification of seven novel loci contributing to adult obesity in a study including more than 260,000 people, and discovered a novel gene (SIM1) responsible for a syndromic Mendelian form of childhood obesity. In 2014, he identified that blood glucose level one hour after an oral glucose tolerance test is the stronger predictor to date of the future risk of type 2 diabetes. In 2015, he contributed to develop a tool (Q-Genie) to optimize meta-analyses of genetic association studies and published the larger meta-analysis to date in the field of genetic epidemiology by using innovative data extraction methods. In 2016, he discovered that physical activity can blunt the effect of the obesity predisposing gene FTO in diverse ethnic groups. He also demonstrated that mutations in the MC4R gene can predict the outcomes of different types of bariatric surgery. In 2017, David Meyre published the first systematic review about genetic syndromes with obesity. He also demonstrated the existence of ‘snowball’ obesity genes. In 2018, he identified the first gene predisposing to binge-eating disorder. In 2019, he demonstrated that mutations in the MC3R gene contribute to an oligogenic form of obesity. He also identified for the first time a mutation responsible for a monogenic form of obesity in the Mexican population.   


With over 200 articles published up to date, 24,000 citations and a H-index of 64, Dr Meyre is an international expert in genetic epidemiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes. He is often invited to talk about the genetics of metabolic diseases in national or international meetings or in knowledge translation initiatives (57 interventions since 2002). He has reviewed articles for 160 journals and for 30 research agencies or charities. He is also Associate Editor on the boards of 14 journals (including Current Genomics, Obesity Reviews, Scientific Reports, Obesity, Diabetes & Metabolism and PLOS One).


Post Doctoral Fellows

Marie Pigeyre

Marie graduated as a MD from Lille University (France), specializing in Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition. Her hospital activities focused on the management of severe obese patients, especially following bariatric surgery. She earned a MSc in Nutrition from Paris 5 University and a PhD from Lille University, studying gene x environment  interactions in food intake regulation during obesity. Since 2011, she is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at Lille University Hospital. Marie is a postdoctoral fellow in the team, developing projects in nutrigenetics and pharmacogenetics.  

MD PhD. Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow

Amel Lamri

Dr. Lamri earned a PhD in genetic epidemiology and biostatistics from Paris 7 University (France) in 2013 after developing a research program on gene x environment interactions in obesity / type 2 diabetes. Dr Amel Lamri currently works as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Meyre. Her research focuses on the implication of genes such as the lipid sensor GPR120 or NPC1 on obesity and its complications among different ethnic groups. During her free time, Amel enjoys hiking, camping or ice skating.

PhD. Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow

Arkan Abadi

Arkan explores the effect of obesity predisposing genes in different body mass index strata.

PhD. Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow

Aihua Li

Aihua completed medical school and a MSc in Biochemistry in China. She also completed a MSc and PhD in Health Research Methodology (HRM) at McMaster University. She has worked as a research assistant on targeted gene therapy in lysosomal storage diseases and cancer at both McMaster University and the University of Toronto. Her main areas of interest include guidelines in genetic epidemiology, knowledge translation for non-geneticist clinicians, obesity genetics in early infancy as well as evolutionary genetics. She loves Canada’s cool summer and snowy winter.

PhD. Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow

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Graduate Students

Akram Alyass

Akram completed a MSc in Statistics (2013) and two Bachelors degrees in Mathematical Sciences (2012) and Life Sciences (2011) at McMaster University. His interests are statistical methodology in clinical health research, meta-analyses, survival analyses and longitudinal data analyses. He is currently working for Dr. Meyre as a Biostatistician and is a PhD candidate in the Computational Sciences Program. His current research projects focus on the development of novel prediction tools for incident type 2 diabetes.

PhD Candidate

Carolina Stryjecki

Carolina graduated with a MSc in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph (2011). Under the mentorship of Dr David Mutch, she explored the links between fatty acids, inflammation and obesity using genomic approaches. As a PhD student in Dr Meyre's laboratory (Medical Sciences program), she investigates the impact of genetic variation in the PPARG gene on metabolic trait variation and response to glucose lowering drugs in multiethnic populations.

PhD Candidate

Alexandra Mayhew

Alexandra graduated with a BSc in Applied Human Nutrition from University of Guelph in 2012. She completed a MSc in Health Research Methodology at McMaster in 2014 in Dr Meyre's lab. She is studying the link between genes, feeding behaviors and obesity. She is an active member of the Health Research Methodology Student Association and she represents MSc students at the Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Steering Committee.


Neeti Vashi

Neeti completed a BSc at McMaster University, majoring in Honours Molecular Biology and Genetics. She is currently working on a project assessing the correlation of inflammation-related genes to metabolic traits in Mexican children. In her spare time, Neeti loves to bake!

PhD Candidate, Collaborative student

Shanice Christie

Shanice completed her BSc in Health Studies at McMaster University. She explores the contribution of lipid-associated genes identified in adults in early infancy, as well as parent of origin effects. She likes to travel and experience new places.

MSc. Collaborative student

Yvonne Lee

Yvonne graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) degree. Her research explores the links between obesity predisposing genes and major depressive disorder in a multiethnic context. She enjoys traveling and trying different types of food.

MSc. candidate, Collaborative student

Sophiya Garasia

Sophiya graduated with a BSc from McMaster University. She explores the links between type 2 depression and major depressive disorders using approaches in observational epidemiology and molecular genetics in multiethnic populations. She loves working with children and so has been as a camp counsellor for 5 summers.

MSc. Collaborative student

Catherine Ross

Catherine is a fourth year Health Sciences student in the Global Health Specialization at McMaster. Her undergraduate Thesis Project involves comparing the association of transcription factor 7-like 2 with the risk of type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia in individuals of Latino American, South Asian and White European descent living in North America and in their respective native countries.

MSc. candidate, Collaborative student

Michelle Turcotte

Michelle completed her BSc (Honours) at McMaster University and is now a MSc candidate in the Global Health Program.  She joined the lab in September 2013 and is currently looking at the effect of pre-existent obesity on genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes, as well as the transferability of European-identified WHR genes in a cohort of Mexican children. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, travelling and playing clarinet.

MSc. candidate

Rita Morassut

Rita graduated from Queen’s University with a BSc (Honours) and specialized in Life Sciences, Biomedical Discovery stream. At Queen’s, she investigated female fertility using a rat model with Dr. Frederick Kan. She is currently a MSc student at McMaster University in the Health Research Methodology Program. Under the supervision of Dr. David Meyre, she is assessing the genetic and environmental determinants of weight during two critical periods of development: during young adulthood in undergraduate students and during pregnancy and postpartum in women. In her spare time, Rita enjoys baking desserts, trying new cuisines, and hiking.

MSc. Candidate

Yuvreet Kaur

Yuvreet completed her BSc with a major in Biology at McMaster University. She is collaborating with Dr. de Souza and Dr. Meyre in preparing a systematic review of literature on syndromes with obesity. Fun fact: She enjoys decorating houses and loves interior designing.

MD candidate

Amrit Sandhu

Amrit is a fourth year Health Sciences student at McMaster. His undergraduate thesis involves further exploring the thrifty gene hypothesis and assessing the association of SNPs showing evidence of negative or positive selection for obesity and type 2 diabetes traits. In his spare time, Amrit enjoys graphic design, video editing, and reading a good book.

MSc. candidate, collaborative student

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Undergraduate Students

Yash Patel

Yash is a fourth year Health Sciences student at McMaster University. Yash is investigating the association of obesity predisposing genes in individuals of Latino American, African, South Asian and White European descent living in North America and in their respective native countries. Outside of school, Yash is a professional graphics designer, and enjoys going to the gym.

BHSc. Candidate

Zechen Ma

Zechen is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program. She's working on a review of the FTO gene and helping with the GENEiUS study. In her spare time, she likes to go to the gym, hike, and try new foods.

BHSc. Candidate

Pyravi Balak

Pyravi is a fourth year Life Sciences student at McMaster University. She is currently investigating the association of 23 BMI/obesity SNPs and gene score with BMI at baseline and a follow-up and its’ interaction with alcohol consumption.

BSc. Candidate

Shane Natalwalla

Shane is a fifth year Health Sciences student at McMaster University. He is using a longitudinal cohort to study the genetic and environmental components of family history of type 2 diabetes and the risk associated in the South Asian population.

BHSc. Candidate

Ryan Gotesman

Ryan is a fourth year Health Sciences student at McMaster University. He is using a mouse-human integrative approach to identify novel risk alleles underlying a genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes.

BHSc. Candidate

Emily Tam

Emily is a fifth year student in the Life Science program. She is working on a systematic review on hypothesis-driven GWAS analyses in complex traits.  Her hobbies outside the lab include running and playing the piano.

BSc. candidate

Vivian Tam

Vivian is a fifth year Life Sciences student. Her project explores the association between fasting plasma glucose genes and subclinical atherosclerosis. Her hobbies outside the lab include running, and basketball.

BSc. Candidate

Hsin-Yen Liu

Hsin is a fourth year Health Sciences student at McMaster University.  He is investigating the association between obesity genes and subclinical atherosclerosis.

BHSc. candidate

Spandana Amarthaluru

Spandana is a fourth year Health Sciences student at McMaster University. She is studying the frequency of the R270H GPR120 mutations in 5 ethnic groups and its association with myocardial infarction in the INTERHEART study. Her hobbies outside of the lab include reading, baking, and painting.

BHSc. Candidate

Bilal Maqbool

Bilal graduated from the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program in 2016. His current research is part of a large-scale, multiethnic project to investigate an array-wide search for SNPs that contribute to depression. His hobbies outside the lab include traveling, performing in theatre initiatives, and going to the gym.

BHSc. Candidate

Chenchen Tian

Chenchen is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program, Global Health Specialization, at McMaster University. He is currently preparing a systematic review on the factors affecting weight changes in undergraduate university students. Outside the academic sphere, Chenchen enjoys staying physically active, watching a good film, and playing guitar & piano.

BHSc. Candidate

Dalton Bedram

Dalton is a third-year student in the Integrated Science program at McMaster University. His research project investigates the association between the FTO gene and suicide. During his spare time, Dalton likes to play basketball.

BSc. Candidate

Daniel Shi

Daniel Shi is a third year Health Sciences student at McMaster. His research project investigates syndromic forms of diabetes.

BHSc. Candidate

Danielle Henry

Danielle is a third year Biochemistry student at McMaster University. She is investigating the impact of cohort of birth on genetic predisposition to obesity. Outside of the lab, Danielle enjoys participating in the McMaster University Choir.

BSc. Candidate

David Moskal

David is a third year Health Science student at McMaster University. He is using high-throughput candidate gene approaches to identify genes predisposing to type 2 diabetes. In his free time, he enjoys reading and photography.

BHSc. Candidate

Feroze Nooruddin

Feroze is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program. She is examining the interaction between GWAS identified SNP for blood fasting glucose and obesity status in Mexican children. Outside of the lab she is an avid coffee drinker, plant nurturer and Pinterest follower.

BHSc. Candidate

Huphy Ghayur

Huphy is a second year Honours Life Sciences student at McMaster University. He investigates the genetic overlap between type 2 diabetes and mood disorders. Huphy has a special talent for photography and is behind all the lab pictures in 2017.

BSc. Candidate

Juehua He

Juehua is a third year Bachelor of Health Sciences student and is currently investigating the association of genes coding for adiponectin and its’ two receptors with cardio-metabolic traits in Mexican children.

BHSc. Candidate