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Howard J. Jacob, Ph.D.

Professor, Physiology and Human and Molecular Genetics

Director, Human and Molecular Genetics Center

Warren P. Knowles Chair of Genetics

Phone: (414) 456-4887 
Email: jacob@mcw.edu
B.S. Biology, Iowa State University, 1983
Ph.D. Pharmacology, University of Iowa, 1989

Research areas: Genetics & Genomics
  Renal Physiology
  Cardiovascular Physiology
  Quantitative Genetics
  Genetic dissection of complex disease
  Disease interaction/target organ damage
  Integrative physiology
  NextGen Sequencing
  Personalized Medicine

The laboratory specializes in building and implementing genomic "tools" in the whole animal. Our goal is to link genomic tools to physiology for discovering the genetic basis of disease, including end stage renal disease (rat and human), hypertension (rat), insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (rat), syndrome-X (rat), left ventricular hypertrophy, myocardial infarction (rat and human) and various cardiac malformations (human). This approach allows us to go from sequence to function using an array of systems to reduce the number of targets to a highly specific list for extensive analyses. We have the capacity to genetically map genes, positionally clone genes, and/or test candidate genes within a specific region of the genome using a new cross species homology mapping technique. With these tools we can build genetic model systems for physiological evaluation or preclinical assessment of gene based therapies.

In order to reduce the complexity of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, inbred strains of rats have been bred and their physiology intensively studied. These rat models can then be used to dissect the genetic component of complex diseases. We maintain and study a large number of inbred strains of rat: the BB rat (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), BN (normotensive control, reproductive disorders), FHH rat (Fawn hooded hypertensive, ESRD model), GH rat (genetically hypertensive rat) GK rat (noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, ESRD model), SHR (spontaneously hypertensive rat), SR/MCW (salt resistant), SS/MCW (salt sensitive, syndrome-X model). We have also been involved in the development of congenic rats (a single region of the genome placed on an inbred background) for hypertension (4 strains) and end stage renal disease (4 strains), and are currently developing a panel of 42 consomic (transfer of a complete chromosome from one strain to another) strains covering the entire rat genome, which will enable us to evaluate the actions of sequence variation within controlled physiological settings. We have developed a new strategy that enables us to develop new congenic strains within 6 months.

Current projects include producing consomic and subcongenic rat strains for disease studies, mapping genes involved in hypertension, renal failure, diabetes and sleep apnea. We have recently constructed a series of 28 subcongenic strains to identify the gene responsible for causing renal failure and located in the Rf-1 QTL. Microarrays and expression libraries have been obtained from different consomic strains to look for effects of chromosome substitution on response to acute ischemia. Crosses are underway to follow up an observation that some phenotypes associated with diabetic nephropathy are due to allelic differences in mitochondrial genes.


Recent Publications:

Huang X, Yuan T, Tschannen M, Sun Z, Jacob H, Du M, Liang M, Dittmar RL, Liu Y, Liang M, Kohli M, Thibodeau SN, Boardman L, Wang L. Characterization of human plasma-derived exosomal RNAs by deep sequencing. BMC Genomics. 2013;14:319. Genomics. 2013;14:319.

Liu P, Morrison C, Wang L, Xiong D, Vedell P, Cui P, Hua X, Ding F, Lu Y, James M, Ebben JD, Xu H, Adjei AA, Head K, Andrae JW, Tschannen MR, Jacob H, Pan J, Zhang Q, Van den Bergh F, Xiao H, Lo KC, Patel J, Richmond T, Watt MA, Albert T, Selzer R, Anderson M, Wang J, Wang Y, Starnes S, Yang P, You M.   Identification of somatic mutations in non-small cell lung carcinomas using whole-exome sequencing. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jul;33(7):1270-6.

Stodola TJ, de Resende MM, Sarkis AB, Didier DN, Jacob HJ, Huebner N, Hummel O, Saar K, Moreno C, Greene AS. Characterization of the genomic structure and function of regions influencing renin and angiogenesis in the SS rat.Physiol Genomics. 2011 Jul 14;43(13):808-17.

O'Meara CC, Lazar J, Hoffman M, Moreno C, Jacob HJ. Refined mapping of the renal failure RF-3 quantitative trait locus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Mar;22(3):518-25.

Adamovic T, McAllister D, Wang T, Adamovic D, Rowe JJ, Moreno C, Lazar J, Jacob HJ, Sugg SL.  Identification of novel carcinogen-mediated mammary tumor susceptibility loci in the rat using the chromosome substitution technique.  Genes Chromosomes Cancer.  2010 Nov;49(11):1035-45.

Iannaccone PM, Jacob HJ. Rats! Dis Model Mech. 2009 May-Jun;2(5-6):206-10.

Aneas I, Rodrigues MV, Pauletti BA, Silva GJ, Carmona R, Cardoso L, Kwitek AE, Jacob HJ, Soler JM, Krieger JE.  Congenic strains provide evidence that four mapped loci in chromosomes 2, 4, and 16 influence hypertension in the SHR.  Physiol Genomics. 2009 Mar 3;37(1):52-7.

Dwinell MR, Worthey EA, Shimoyama M, Bakir-Gungor B, DePons J, Laulederkind S, Lowry T, Nigram R, Petri V, Smith J, Stoddard A, Twigger SN, Jacob HJ, RGD Team.   The Rat Genome Database 2009: variation, ontologies and pathways.  Nucleic Acids Res.   2009 Jan;37(Database issue):D744-9.

Bilusić M, Moreno C, Barreto NE, Tschannen MR, Harris EL, Porteous WK, Thompson CM, Grigor MR, Weder A, Boerwinkle E, Hunt SC, Curb JD, Jacob HJ, Kwitek AE.  Genetically hypertensive Brown Norway congenic rat strains suggest intermediate traits underlying genetic hypertension. Croat Med J.   2008 Oct;49(5):586-99.

Williams JM, Sarkis A, Hoagland KM, Fredrich K, Ryan RP, Moreno C, Lopez B, Lazar J, Fenoy FJ, Sharma M, Garrett MR, Jacob HJ, Roman RJ. Transfer of the CYP4A region of chromosome 5 from Lewis to Dahl S rats attenuates renal injury. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2008 Dec;295(6):F1764-77.

Adamovic T, McAllister D, Rowe JJ, Wang T, Jacob HJ, Sugg SL. Genetic mapping of mammary tumor traits to rat chromosome 10 using a novel panel of consomic rats. Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2008 Oct;186(1):41-8.

Wang T, Jacob H, Ghosh S, Wang X, Zeng ZB. A joint association test for multiple SNPs in genetic case-control studies. Genet Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;33(2):151-63.

Dr. Jacob's CV

Link to MCW Faculty Collaboration Database - Howard Jacob

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