Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH

Professor
Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
+1 415 514-9677
Research Description: 

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. In the U.S., childhood asthma prevalence is highest among Puerto Ricans (18.4%), followed by Blacks (14.6%), Whites (8.2%) and Mexicans (4.8%). These disparities extend to asthma mortality, which is four-fold higher in Puerto Ricans and African Americans compared to Mexican Americans. There are marked differences in drug response to asthma therapies between racial and ethnic groups, which contribute to health disparities in asthma morbidity and mortality. Albuterol, a short-acting ß2-agonist, is the most commonly prescribed asthma medication in the world. We and others have demonstrated that Puerto Rican and African American children with asthma were significantly less responsive to albuterol than European American children. In addition, long-acting ß2-agonist (LABA) usage has been associated with increased mortality among African American subjects. These findings suggest that poor response to asthma therapies contributes to health disparities in asthma morbidity and mortality. Racial/ethnic differences in drug response are partially explained by genetic differences. We study the interplay between genes and the environment to determine the root causes of asthma health disparities in children and adolescents to identify and develop targeted interventions to improve asthma outcomes.

I work in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of investigators from several Universities, which includes scientists with expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics, medicine, molecular and cell biology and genomics. Using tools from these disciplines, we perform comprehensive research (genetic, social and environmental) designed to untangle why populations differ in health and disease. We have leveraged the rich ancestry of racially mixed (admixed) populations to untangle complex gene-environment interactions for health and disease. We have developed specific expertise in population-based genetic studies in admixed populations. Most importantly, we are working to ensure that modern advances in research will benefit all populations.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Secondary Thematic Area: 
None
Research Summary: 
Pharmacogenomics and Genetic Epidemiology of Pulmonary Diseases

Websites

Publications: 

Genome-wide association study reveals a novel locus for asthma with severe exacerbations in diverse populations.

Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

Herrera-Luis E, Espuela-Ortiz A, Lorenzo-Diaz F, Keys KL, Mak ACY, Eng C, Huntsman S, Villar J, Rodriguez-Santana JR, Burchard EG, Pino-Yanes M

A genome-wide study of DNA methylation in white blood cells and asthma in Latino children and youth.

Epigenetics

Jiang Y, Forno E, Han YY, Xu Z, Hu D, Boutaoui N, Eng C, Acosta-Pérez E, Huntsman S, Colón-Semidey A, Keys KL, Rodríguez-Santana JR, Alvarez M, Pino-Yanes M, Canino G, Chen W, Burchard EG, Celedón JC

On the cross-population generalizability of gene expression prediction models.

PLoS genetics

Keys KL, Mak ACY, White MJ, Eckalbar WL, Dahl AW, Mefford J, Mikhaylova AV, Contreras MG, Elhawary JR, Eng C, Hu D, Huntsman S, Oh SS, Salazar S, Lenoir MA, Ye JC, Thornton TA, Zaitlen N, Burchard EG, Gignoux CR

Combined analysis of transcriptomic and genetic data for the identification of loci involved in glucocorticosteroid response in asthma.

Allergy

Hernandez-Pacheco N, Gorenjak M, Jurgec S, Corrales A, Jorgensen A, Karimi L, Vijverberg SJ, Berce V, Schieck M, Acosta-Herrera M, Kerick M, Samedy-Bates LA, Tavendale R, Villar J, Mukhopadhyay S, Pirmohamed M, Mc Verhamme K, Kabesch M, Hawcutt DB, Turner S, Palmer CN, Burchard EG, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Flores C, Potocnik U, Pino-Yanes M

Genome-wide Analysis Reveals Mucociliary Remodeling of the Nasal Airway Epithelium Induced by Urban PM2.5.

American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology

Montgomery MT, Sajuthi SP, Cho SH, Everman JL, Rios CL, Goldfarbmuren KC, Jackson ND, Saef B, Cromie M, Eng C, Medina V, Elhawary JR, Oh SS, Rodriguez-Santana J, Vladar EK, Burchard EG, Seibold MA