The O'Brien Lab is interested in the metabolic function and transcriptional regulation of the glucose-6-phosphatase gene family and especially how these genes contribute to various diseases including diabetes. There are 3 members of this family designated G6PC, G6PC2 and G6PC3. These genes all play a role determining fasting blood glucose levels, a parameter that is correlated with the risk of cardiovascular-associated mortality and type 2 diabetes. But they are also associated with specific diseases namely glycogen storage disease type 1a (G6PC), type 1 diabetes (G6PC2) and neutropenia (G6PC3).
Richard O'Brien received his undergraduate degree from Bristol University, England in 1984 and his doctorate from Cambridge University, England in 1988. Dr. O'Brien then did his post-doctoral training in Dr. Daryl Granner's laboratory at Vanderbilt University, initially as a Research Associate and then as a Research Instructor, before joining the faculty in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics in 1995 where he now holds the rank of professor.