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Bert Boyer

Credit: 
Bert Boyer
Research Interests: 

The major objective of my research program is to understand the interaction between genetic and environmental risk and protective factors for obesity and diabetes in Yup'ik people. Identification of gene-environment interactions that influence energy balance should lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to body fat development and is also an important aspect of public health intervention. Our studies are designed and implemented within a community-based participatory research framework that involves extensive interactions with community leaders and health corporation representatives.

Bert Boyer
Credit: 
Bert Boyer
Bert B. Boyer
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Associate Director of Human Health - IAB
Director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research
Office: 
206 Arctic Health Research Building
907-474-7733
Postal Address: 
Institute of Arctic Biology
PO Box 757000
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
1988-1992   Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Leslie Kozak, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine
1983-1988   Doctorate, Thesis advisor: Dr. Richard Odessey, Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
1982-1983   Doctoral Candidate, Department of Physiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
1977-1982   Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
2010-present   Director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
2008-present   Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Arctic Biology and the Department of Biology and Wildlife; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
2005-2006   Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge University
1998-2000   Visiting Associate Research Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Molecular Genetics at Columbia University
1998-1999   Visiting Research Scientist in the Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes of the Department of Medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Obesity Research Center in New York City
1992-1997   Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Arctic Biology and the Department of Biology and Wildlife; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska

2000

Yu, X.X. et al., 2000. Impact of endotoxin on UCP homolog mRNA abundance, thermoregulation and mitochondrial proton leak kinetics. American Journal of Physiology, 279, pp.E433-E446.

1999

Boyer, B.B. & Barnes, B.M., 1999. Molecular and metabolic aspects of mammalian hibernation. BioScience, 49, pp.713-724.

1998

Boyer, B.B. et al., 1998. Differential regulation of uncoupling protein gene homologues in multiple tissues of hibernating ground squirrels. American Journal of Physiology, 275, pp.R1232-R1238.

1997

Ackerman, S.L. et al., 1997. The mouse rostral cerebellar malformation gene encodes an UNC-5-like protein. Nature, 386, pp.838–842.
Biery, A.J. et al., 1997. The b3-adrenergic receptor TRP64ARG polymorphism and obesity in Alaskan Eskimos. International Journal of Obesity, 21, pp.1176–1179.
Boyer, B.B. et al., 1997. Leptin prevents post-hibernation weight gain but does not reduce energy expenditure in arctic ground squirrels. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 118c, pp.405-412.

1996

Boyer, B.B. et al., 1996. Adaptations to the cold: Tenth International Hibernation Symposium. In A. J. Hulbert, Nicol, S. C. , & Geiser, F. Armidale: University of New England Press, pp. 237–244.
Lowell, B.B. et al., 1996. Molecular and genetic aspects of obesity. In D. H. Ryan & Bray, G. A. Pennington Center Nutrition Series. Pennington Center Nutrition Series. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, pp. 598–608.
Ormseth, O.A. et al., 1996. Leptin inhibits prehibernation hyperphagia and reduces body weight in arctic ground squirrels. American Journal of Physiology, 271, pp.R1775-R1779.
Testut, P. et al., 1996. A new hepadnavirus endemic in arctic ground squirrels in Alaska. Journal of Virology, 70, pp.4210–4219.

Pages

2011-present   Affiliate Professor University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Bioethics and Humanities
2005-06   Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University, Wolfson College, Cambridge, England
2004-10   Affiliate Faculty University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Physiology
2002   University of Washington Science in Medicine WWAMI lecturer
1998-99   Visiting Research Scientist in the Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes of the Department of Medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Obesity Research Center, New York, NY
1998-99   Visiting Associate Research Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Molecular Genetics at Columbia University, New York, NY
  • North American Association for the Student of Obesity
  • American Society for Human Genetics
2010-2013  

NIH R01 award (Boyer and Burke, Dual PIs, $1,835,377)                                                                                                  Ethics of Dissemination: Communicating with participants about genetics research

2010-2015   NIH U01 award (Thummel and Burke, Dual PIs, Boyer, subcontract PI, $10,759,316 overall budget; ~$1,120,000 subcontract budget)
Pharmacogenetics in Rural and Underserved Populations
2009-2011   NIH ARRA Supplement (Boyer, PI-after taking over for Mohatt $957,627)
Advance Translation (Eskimo collaboration study with ANTHC & GOCADAN)
2009-2011  

NIH ARRA Supplement (Boyer, PI-after taking over for Mohatt $583,071)                                                             Workforce Development (Cross-Cultural & Medical Epidemiology Training)                                                        

2009-2011   NIH U24 award (Nadler PI, Boyer, subcontract PI-after taking over for Mohatt $14,871,333 overall budget; ~$840,000 subcontract budget)
Pharmacogenetics in Rural and Underserved Populations
2007-2012   NIH COBRE award (Co-PI, ~$11,000,000)
Building a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Alaska Native Health Research: The Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR)
2007-2011   NIH R01 (PI, $2,900,688)
Genetics of Obesity in Yup’ik Eskimos
2003   UA Foundation & EPSCoR (PI, $320,000)
Comparative Genomics of Hibernation
2002   NIH COBRE Supplement (Co-PI, $500,000)
Alteration and Renovation Supplement for COBRE (Arctic Health Renovation)
2001-2006   NIH COBRE award (Co-PI, ~$11,000,000)
Building a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Alaska Native Health Research: The Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR)
2001-2004   DOD EPSCoR Research Grant (PI, $299,998)
Molecular Mechanisms of Metabolic Suppression: Protein synthesis and mitochondrial respiration in a hibernating ground squirrel model.
2004-2006   NSF EPSCoR Award (PI, Physiology Research Focus Area Leader, $1,500,000)
Integrative Approaches to Environmental Physiology
2001-2003   NSF EPSCoR Award (PI, Genomics Research Focus Area Leader, $1,500,000)
Alaska Genomic Diversity Initiative
1999-2000   New York Obesity Research Center (PI, $16,000)
Development of a Genetic Resource
1998-2001   American Heart Association Research Grant (PI, $120,000)
Multi-Tissue Regulation of Energy Expenditure by Uncoupling proteins
1998-2000   NIH Senior National Research Service Award (PI, $47,412)
Genetics of Obesity in Alaska Natives
1996-2000   NSF CAREER Award (PI, $286,164)
mRNA and Protein Turnover During Mammalian Hibernation: A Potential Stimulus for Arousals?
1995-1998   American Heart Association (PI, $151,200)
Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program
1995   NIH Minority High School Research Apprentice Program (PI, $143,370)
Minority Alaskan Student and Teacher Experiences in Research (MASTER Program)
1994   NSF Academic Research Infrastructure Award (Co-PI, $240,150)
Development of a Core Facility for DNA Sequencing
1994   NSF Academic Research Infrastructure Award (Co-PI, $240, 150)
Development of a Core Facility for DNA Sequencing
1993-1997   NIH FIRST Award (PI, $523,625). Sympathetically mediated Gene Activation in Brown Fat

Introduction to Biology (Biology 106)

Research Design (Biology 602)

Molecular Biology (Biology/Chemistry 453/653)*

Principles of Metabolism (Biology 303)*

*Courses I developed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Past Graduate Students
  • Qun Chen, M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1996, Thesis title: Elucidation of cold-inducible and tissue-specific protein-DNA interactions in the 5' flanking region of the mouse uncoupling protein gene by in vivo footprinting.
  • Austin Biery, M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1996, Thesis title: Association of the beta 3-adrenergic receptor polymorphism with obesity in Native Alaskans.
  • Olav Ormseth, M.S. in Biology 1997, Thesis title: Involvement of leptin in the regulation seasonal obesity in arctic ground squirrels.
  • Steve LePage, M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2000, Thesis Title: Characterization of cold-inducible and tissue-specific protein-DNA interactions regulating uncoupling protein gene expression.
  • Jamie Barger, PhD. in Biology 2002. Thesis Title: Physiological role of uncoupling proteins in arctic ground squirrels.
  • Erik Harrington, M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2003. Thesis Title: Genetics of Obesity in Alaska Natives. 
  • Renee Pasker, M.S. in Biology 2008. Thesis Title: Gene by environment interactions between three candidates genes for obestiy and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Kathleen McGlone West, M.S. in Biology 2009. Thesis Title:Lessons from the river: identifying factors that influence the comprehension of genetics research in the Yup'ik Eskimo community.
  • Dominick Lemas, Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2012. Thesis Title: Gene-by-Diet Interactions and Obesity Among Yup'ik People Living in Southwest Alaska.
  • Maria Bray, Ph.D. in Biology 2013. Thesis Title: Body Composition Physical Activity, and their Associations with Health in Yup'ik People.
Past Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Dr. Gabriella Antunez de Mayolo (2003-5)
  • Dr. Anna Goropashnaya (2004-6)
  • Dr. Vadim Fedorov (2004-6)
  • Dr. Theresa Hoeft (2010-present)
News Releases
In the News
2010-present   Director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research
2007-present   Member, Institutional Review Board, University of Alaska Fairbanks
2006-present   Steering Committee Member, IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence
2004-2005   Chair, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee
2004-2005   Physiology Research Focus Area Leader, National Science Foundation, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitiveness in Research (EPSCoR).
2003-2008   Member, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (now referred to as the Council)
2002   Deputy Director, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
2001-present   Genetics Core Leader, Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR)
2001-2010   Deputy Director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR)
2001-2003   Genetics Research Focus Area Leader, National Science Foundation, Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitiveness in Research (EPSCoR)
2001   Member, Biosciences Building Planning Committee
1999-2002   Chair, Life Sciences Space Committee
1994-present   Director, Core Facility for Nucleic Acid Analysis (http://www.iab.uaf.edu/research/facilities.php)