Christopher K. Glass

University of California, San Diego

Primary Section: 42, Medical Physiology and Metabolism
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2017)


Dr. Glass is a physician-scientist recognized for his work on molecular mechanisms that control macrophage functions in health and disease. He is particularly known for elucidating roles of nuclear hormone receptors and other signal-dependent transcription factors in controlling pathogenic programs of macrophage gene expression that contribute to atherosclerosis, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Glass was born in Oakland, California and attended UC Berkeley, were he earned a bachelor degree in Biophysics and competed on the swimming team. He received MD and PhD degrees from UC San Diego and performed internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He returned to UC San Diego for fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism and joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1989. He has played active roles in promoting the development of genomics technologies at UC San Diego and serving as an advisor to the NIH. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Science.

Research Interests

The primary goal of my laboratory is to understand the mechanisms by which sequence-specific transcription factors, co-activators and co-repressors regulate the development and function of macrophages in health and disease.  A major direction over the past five years has been to define the genome-wide locations and functions of these proteins through the use of assays that are based on massively parallel DNA sequencing. The combination of these technologies with molecular, genetic, lipidomic and cell-based approaches is providing new insights into mechanisms that regulate macrophage gene expression and function that are relevant to a broad range of devastating human disorders for which treatments are not available or are ineffective. One of most important recent efforts has been to define the transcriptomes and regulatory landscapes of human microglia in order to better understand pathogenic mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's Disease.

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