Brian Parks

Parks2Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
B.S. 2002, University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Ph.D. 2008, University of Alabama, Birmingham


Web Site:

Emphasis Group(s):
Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition

Research Interests:
Gene-diet interactions, obesity, diabetes, and systems genetics

Research Summary:
The Parks Lab is focused on addressing the question of how genetics and diet interact together to contribute to common metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Through the use of large-scale integrative genetic studies in the mouse we have identified several candidate genes that mediate gene-diet interactions. Current work is focused on a novel candidate drug target, Agpat5, which improves common symptoms of obesity and diabetes. In addition to this work we have a strong interest in the development of systems genetics approaches for dissecting biological pathways and networks.


Representative publications:

Org E, Parks BW, Joo JW, Emert B, Schwartzman W, Kang EY, Mehrabian M, Pan C, Knight R, Gunsalus R, Drake TA, Eskin E, Lusis AJ. Genetic and environmental control of host-gut microbiota interactions. Genome Research. Aug 10 [Epub ahead of print] (2015).

Hui ST, Parks BW, Org E, Norheim F, Che N, Pan C, Castellani LW, Charugundla S, Dirks DL, Psychogios N, Neuhaus I, Gerszten RE, Kirchgessner T, Gargalovic PS, Lusis AJ. The genetic architecture of NAFLD among inbred strains of mice. Elife. Jun 12;4:e05607.(2015)

Parks BW, Sallam T, Mehrabian M, Psychogios N, Hui ST, Norheim F, Castellani LW, Rau CD, Pan C, Phun J, Zhou Z, Yang WP, Neuhaus I, Gargalovic PS, Kirchgessner TG, Graham M, Lee R, Tontonoz P, Gerszten RE, Hevener AL, Lusis AJ. Genetic architecture of insulin resistance in the mouse. Cell Metabolism. Feb 3;21(2):334-46. (2015)

Leung A, Parks BW, Du J, Trac C, Setten R, Chen Y, Brown K, Lusis AJ, Natarajan R, Schones DE. Open chromatin profiling in mice livers reveals unique chromatin variations induced by high fat diet. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Aug 22;289(34):23557-67 (2014)