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 is using systems approaches to investigate the molecular basis of obesity , osteoporosis and the molecular interactions between adipose and bone in the mouse.  The goal of this work is to combine genetics and global gene expression profiling in the mouse to identify genes and pathways which influence these traits and mediate the relationship between fat and bone using techniques such as causality modeling between expression and physiological traits and generating disease focused gene co-expression networks.  An additional component of this work is testing hypotheses generated by systems-analyses using in vitro cell based assays and transgenic mouse models.

Selected Publications

  • Bennett, B. J.*, Farber, C. R.*, Orozco, L., Min Kang, H., Ghazalpour, A., Siemers, N., Neubauer, M., Neuhaus, I., Yordanova, R., Guan, B., Truong, A., Yang, W. P., He, A., Kayne, P., Gargalovic, P., Kirchgessner, T., Pan, C., Castellani, L. W., Kostem, E., Furlotte, N., Drake, T. A., Eskin, E., and Lusis, A. J., A high-resolution association mapping panel for the dissection of complex traits in mice, Genome Res. Epub Jan. 2, 2010. * Co-first authors
  • Farber, C. R., and Lusis, A. J., 2009, Future of osteoporosis genetics: enhancing genome-wide association studies, J Bone Miner Res 24(12):1937-42.
  • Farber, C. R., van Nas, A., Ghazalpour, A., Aten, J. E., Doss, S., Sos, B., Schadt, E. E., Ingram-Drake, L., Davis, R. C., Horvath, S., Smith, D. J., Drake, T. A., and Lusis, A. J., 2009, An integrative genetics approach to identify candidate genes regulating BMD: combining linkage, gene expression, and association, J Bone Miner Res 24(1):105-16.
  • Yang, X., Deignan, J. L., Qi, H., Zhu, J., Qian, S., Zhong, J., Torosyan, G., Majid, S., Falkard, B., Kleinhanz, R. R., Karlsson, J., Castellani, L. W., Mumick, S., Wang, K., Xie, T., Coon, M., Zhang, C., Estrada-Smith, D., Farber, C. R., et al,., 2009, Validation of candidate causal genes for obesity that affect shared metabolic pathways and networks, Nat Genet 41(4):415-23.

PubMed Link for this Faculty Member

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