Prof. David Karasik

Genetics of Age-Related Musculoskeletal Diseases

The Azrieli Faculty of Medicine

Prof. Karasik is a graduate of Tel Aviv University (Medical Sciences, 2000). He spent several years as a postdoctoral scientist in Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA). The primary objective of our research is to decipher the genetic variation of complex traits, including bone mass, muscle function, fatty liver, and biological aging. Our search for biological connections between the muscles and bones is aimed to inspire novel molecular strategies for the treatment and prevention of osteoporotic fractures, metabolic syndrome, sarcopenia (muscle wasting) and other devastating diseases.

Prof. Karasik was a senior author on the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for fracture risk and contributed to multiple GWAS analyses of musculoskeletal aging-related traits. We actively participate in international consortia such as CHARGE, GEFOS, SUNLIGHT, and ReproGen. Our studies were published in leading journals such as JAMA, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, Lancet etc.

Our recent efforts have focused on fine-mapping (by targeted sequencing) and functional follow-ups of the GWAS-identified loci. We are an integral part of the TransOmics for Personalized Medicine (TopMed, USA) and musculoskeletal working group of UK Biobank 500K analytics. We use molecular biology techniques in vitro and the zebrafish (Danio rerio, ZF) as an in vivo model for functional follow-up of the human associations. In parallel, we work on incorporating genetic risk scores for prediction of stress fractures in IDF soldiers and on exome resequencing in Druze sample from the Galilee (affected with metabolic syndrome).



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