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).