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Next-generation epidemiology: the role of high-resolution molecular phenotyping in diabetes research – published online 25/08/2020

Paul W. Franks, Hugo Pomares-Millan

Major advances in technologies that allow detailed molecular characterisations of many thousands of people have transformed epidemiology into a discipline at the forefront of biomedicine.  In this issue, Franks and Pomares-Millan (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05246-w) summarise recent advances in diabetes epidemiology that have been made possible through the availability of detailed genetic and molecular phenotype data in large cohorts, combined with the development and application of complex analytical processes. They explain that these studies have revealed novel molecular pathways that harbour promising targets for drug discovery, yielded evidence of gene–environment interactions that might facilitate targeted prevention of diabetes, and enabled the restratification of diabetes into aetiological subtypes that help elucidate the heterogeneous nature of type 2 diabetes. The figure from this review is available as a downloadable slide.

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