Tel.: 514-340-8222 ext. 4362
J. Brent Richards M.D., M.Sc
Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Departments of Medicine, Human Genetics, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University
FRQS Clinician-Scientist
Senior Lecturer, King’s College London (Honorary)
Dr. Brent Richards is an Assistant Professor at McGill University. His clinical interests are in the field of endocrinology. His team’s main research interest is the genetic epidemiology of common aging-related diseases, such as osteoporosis. The Richards Lab is attempting to understand the genetic determinants of such diseases.
Major Research Activities

Dr. Richards and colleagues performed the first Genome-Wide Association Study for osteoporosis, which was published in The Lancet in 2008. The genetic risk variants identified also increased the risk of osteoporotic fracture and diagnosis of osteoporosis. This work involved more than six international centers. Following this study, the Richards’ lab and collaborators in several countries published a large-scale collaborative meta-analysis of candidate genes for osteoporosis in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2009. These findings demonstrated empirically that most previously published candidate genes for osteoporosis do not influence bone mineral density, thus calling into question a decade worth of genetic research.
Collaborating closely with the TwinsUK cohort, Dr. Richards participated in the GEFOS consortium to identify common genetic variants which influence risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture. These findings were published in Nature Genetics in 2009.

The Richards’ lab identified a novel genetic determinant of coronary heart disease and risk of type 2 diabetes through a genome-wide association study for adiponectin levels. These findings emerge from collaborations with several international consortia aimed at dissecting the genetic determinants of these diseases. These findings were published in PLoS Genetics in 2009.

Using the CaMos cohort, a large, population-based study of osteoporotic fractures, Dr. Richards led a study that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine that demonstrated that the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors was associated with a two-fold increased risk of fracture. These findings have led to an on-going investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into the role of these drugs in osteoporotic fractures. These findings also received lay-press coverage from the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, LA Times, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CNN and over 200 other news sources.
Recent Publications
D Manousaki, JW Kent Jr., K Haack S Zhou, P Xie, CM Greenwood, P Brassard, DE Newman, S Cole, JG Umans, G Rouleau, AG Comuzzie, JB Richards. (2016). Towards Precision Medicine: TBC1D4 Disruption is Common in The Inuit and Leads to Under-Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. Epub ahead of print 2016 Aug 9.

LE Mokry, S Ross, OS Ahmad, V Forgetta, G Davey-Smith, A Leong, CMT Greenwood, G Thanassoulis, JB Richards. (2015). Vitamin D and risk of Multiple Sclerosis: a Mendelian Randomization Study. PLOS Medicine. 12(8):e1001866.

HF Zheng*, V Forgetta*, YH Hsu*, K Estrada*, A Rosello-Diez*, PJ Leo*, CL Dahia*, KH Park-Min*, JH Tobias*, C Kooperberg*, A Kleinman, U Styrkarsdottir, CT Liu, C Uggla, DS Evans, CM Nielson, K Walter, U Pettersson-Kymmer, S McCarthy, J Eriksson, T Kwan, M Jhamai, K Trajanoska, Y Memari, J Min, J Huang, P Danecek, B Wilmot, R Li, WC Chou, LE Mokry, A Moayyeri, M Claussnitzer, CH Cheng, W Cheung, C Medina-Gómez, B Ge, SH Chen, K Choi, L Oei, J Fraser, R Kraaij, M Hibbs, C Gregson, D Paquette, A Hofman, C Wibom, GJ Tranah, M Marshall, B Gardiner, P Auer, L Hsu, S Ring, JY Tung, G Thorleifsson, AW Enneman, NM van Schoor, LCPGM deGroot, N vanderVelde, B Melin, JP Kemp, C Christiansen, A Sayers, Y Zhou, S Calderari, J van Rooij, C Carlson, U Peters, S Berlivet, J Dostie, AG Uitterlinden, SR Williams, C Farber, D Grinberg-, AZ LaCroix, J Haessler, DI Chasman, F Giulianini, LM Rose, PM Ridker, JA Eisman-, TV Nguyen, JR Center, XNN Garcia-Giralt, LL Launer, V Gudnason, D Mellström, L Vandenput, MK Karlsson, O Ljunggren, O Svensson, G Hallmans, F Rousseau, S Giroux, J Bussière, P Arp, F Koromani, R Prince, J Lewis, B Langdahl, AP Hermann, JEB Jensen, S Kaptoge, KT Khaw, J Reeve, MM Formosa, A Xuereb-Anastasi, K Åkesson, FE McGuigan, GG Bussière, JM Olmos, MT Zarrabeitia, JA Riancho, SH Ralston, N Alonso, X Jiang, D Goltzman, T Pastinen, E Grundberg, D Gauguier, ES Orwoll, D Karasik, G Davey-Smith, AOGC Consortium, AV Smith, K Siggeirsdottir, TB Harris, MC Zillikens, JBJ vanMeurs, U Thorsteinsdottir, MT Maurano, NJ Timpson, N Soranzo, R Durbin, SG Wilson, EE Ntzani, MA Brown, K Stefansson, DA Hinds, TS Spector, LA Cupples, C Ohlsson, C Greenwood, RD Jackson†, DW Rowe†, CA Loomis†, DM Evans†, CL Ackert-Bicknell†, AL Joyner†, EL Duncan†, DP Kiel†, F Rivadeneira†, JB Richards† for the GEFOS and UK10K Consortia. * and † denote equal contribution. (2015). Whole-genome sequence-based identification of EN1 as a determinant of bone density and fracture. Nature. 526(7571):112-7.
Dr. Richards and colleagues performed the first genome-wide association study for osteoporosis, published in The Lancet in 2008.

He also identified novel genetic determinants of metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, through important collaborations with several research consortia.

In addition, his team identified novel genetic determinants of male pattern baldness, findings which were published in Nature Genetics.

His work currently involves extensive collaborations with research groups in North America, Europe, and Australia aimed at identifying the genetic determinants of common disease. Dr. Richards also works extensively with the TwinsUK cohort from London, England.

Richards Lab website at McGill University

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