Charles R. Farber

Charles FarberDegree(s): PhD
Graduate School: University of California-Davis
Primary Appointment: Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences

Research Interests:
Genetics of complex disease, with an emphasis on osteoporosis and obesity; Genetics of gene expression; Systems biology of complex disease; Mouse models of complex disease
Email Address:

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program(s)

Research Description

Genetics of complex disease

Common diseases such as osteoporosis and obesity impart significant societal health burdens. These diseases are, in part, regulated by genetic determinants and understanding their genetic basis is critical to the development of effective therapeutics.  In recent years, technological advances, such as sequencing the genomes of multiple species and the ability to perform bioassays in a massively parallel fashion, have made it possible to begin to understand disease in a systems context.  Systems-biology, an exciting new area of research and way of thinking, attempts to determine the direct and interactive roles of all cellular and physiological components (transcripts, protein, metabolites, etc.) in diseased and normal states using data from high-throughput genomic studies.

Our lab uses systems approaches to investigate the molecular basis of bone fragility . Specifically, we combine genetics and genomics data, primarily in the mouse, to identify genes and pathways which influence bone strength.  Techniques that we employ include causality modeling between expression and physiological traits and generating disease focused gene co-expression networks. We also test hypotheses generated by systems analyses using in vitro cell based assays and transgenic mouse models.

Selected Publications

  • Farber CR, Reich A, Barnes AM, Becerra P, Rauch F, Cabral WA, Bae A, Quinlan A, Glorieux FH, Clemens TL, Marini JC. A novel IFITM5 mutation in severe atypical osteogenesis imperfecta type VI impairs osteoblast production of pigment epithelium-derived factor. J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Jun;29(6):1402-11.
  • Mesner LD, Ray B, Hsu YH, Manichaikul A, Lum E, Bryda EC, Rich SS, Rosen CJ, Criqui MH, Allison M, Budoff MJ, Clemens TL, Farber CR. Bicc1 is a genetic determinant of osteoblastogenesis and bone mineral density. J Clin Invest. 2014 Jun;124(6):2736-49. doi: 10.1172/JCI73072. Epub 2014 May 1.
  • Calabrese G, Bennett BJ, Orozco L, Kang HM, Eskin E, Dombret C, De Backer O, Lusis AJ, Farber CR. Systems genetic analysis of osteoblast-lineage cells. PLoS Genet. 2012;8(12):e1003150. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003150. Epub 2012 Dec 27.
  • Bennett BJ, Farber CR, Orozco L, Kang HM, Ghazalpour A, Siemers N, Neubauer M, Neuhaus I, Yordanova R, Guan B, Truong A, Yang WP, He A, Kayne P, Gargalovic P, Kirchgessner T, Pan C, Castellani LW, Kostem E, Furlotte N, Drake TA, Eskin E, Lusis AJ. A high-resolution association mapping panel for the dissection of complex traits in mice. Genome Res. 2010 Feb;20(2):281-90. doi: 10.1101/gr.099234.109. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

PubMed Link for this Faculty Member

Contact Information
Mailing Address:  PO Box 800717, Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone:  434-243-8584
Fax:  434-924-1312