Donna K. Arnett, PhD, MSPH

Arnett-DonnaProfessor and Chair
Dept. of Epidemiology
School of Public Health

Contact Information

Office Address: RPHB 220
Phone: 205-934-7066
E-mail: arnett@uab.edu
Websites:  Dept. of Epidemiology Faculty Page
                 School of Medicine Faculty Page

Education:

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
BS, Nursing, 1981

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
MSPH, Epidemiology, 1987

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
PhD, Epidemiology, 1991

Post-Graduate Training:

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Postdoctoral Fellow, Epidemiology, 1992-4

Research Interests:

Genetic Epidemiology, Pharmacogenetics

Research Description:

Dr. Arnett, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a cardiovascular genetic epidemiologist who serves as Principal Investigator for multiple observation and interventional family-based studies. A prime focus of her work is to identify genetic and genomic determinants of drug response. She is principal investigator of the Genetics of Hypertension Associated Treatments, ancillary to the ALLHAT (Antihypertensive and Lipid Lowering Heart Attack Trial), which is determining whether genetic variation within blood pressure regulating genes interacts with the type of antihypertensive therapy (diuretic, ACE inhibitor, calcium antagonist, or alpha blocker) to modify the occurrence of fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction in more than 40,000 high-risk hypertensive participants followed an average of 4.2 years. She is also PI of the Genetics and Environmental Determinants of Triglycerides, which seeks to identify genomic regions that contribute to the interindividual variation in response of lipids and lipoprotein particles to a short-term trial with fenofibrate. A second aim is to characterize variation in the PPARalpha gene, the target for fenofibrate, and to determine whether variants within this gene affect the magnitude of triglyceride lowering with treatment. A third aim is to identify genomic regions contributing to the lipid response to a high fat meal. Recruitment and phenotypic characterization of families is currently underway. Another major focus of Dr. Arnett’s work is gene discovery. One study aimed to identify genes contributing to cardiovascular traits is the Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. Ancillary to the HyperGEN study, this study is currently characterizing four genomic regions with evidence for linkage for a variety of echocardiographic phenotypes. Resequencing postional candidate genes is underway. As part of the Family Blood Pressure Program, Dr. Arnett coordinates the echocardiography component, overseeing operations in 4 different networks, in addition to leading the scientific agenda for left ventricular hypertrophy. Dr. Arnett has experience in mentoring students from diverse educational and ethnic backgrounds. In addition to the pre- and post-doctoral training listed, Dr. Arnett participated in the Minority Summer Internship at the University of Minnesota where she mentored African American students during the summer (1999-2003). Dr. Arnett also served as Principal Investigator for the T32 Training Grant in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology while at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Arnett is a long-term Tahoe Faculty member, having lead both the “general genetics” lecture and also the “genetic in cardiovascular studies lectures.” This Tahoe experience, along with her expertise and understanding of the application of genetics in a trials framework, ensures her substantial contribution the program.

Publications

DRC Membership Category:

Senior Scientist