Dr. Mitchell received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1987 in Epidemiology and then moved to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX for post-doctoral training, where he studied diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Mexican Americans. In 1994 he joined the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, where he applied statistical genetics methods to dissect the genetic architecture of cardiovascular risk factors in families.
In 2000, Dr. Mitchell joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, where his work has focused on understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to a variety of common complex diseases. He has participated in numerous studies, including many large scale projects that have provided research opportunities for his students. He is a core investigator for the Amish Research group, directs the San Antonio Family Osteoporosis Study, is a founding member of the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, and plays a leading role in the genetics arm of the Osteoarthritis Initiative. In addition to his research program, Dr. Mitchell has served on multiple NIH study sections, is currently Associate Editor for Diabetes, Diabetes Metabolism Research Reviews, and Diabetes Management and has authored over 250 scientific publications. At the University of Maryland, he co-directs the Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine track within the Program in Epidemiology & Human Genetics and has mentored numerous post-docs and graduate students. He also directs the Molecular Genetics and Nutrigenomics Core in the Mid-Atlantic Nutrition and Obesity Center (NORC) and the Molecular and Translational Genomics (MTG) Core in the Baltimore Diabetes Research Training Center (DRTC).
There is a substantial genetic contribution for susceptibility to most common diseases, although for many of these diseases, specific DNA polymorphisms related to disease susceptibility have yet to be identified. My research program utilizes a variety of approaches to try to dissect the genetic and environmental determinants of a variety of complex diseases, including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoporosis and obesity. The goal of these efforts is to detect and identify common gene variants that may influence susceptibility to one or more of these disorders, and to determine how these variants may interact with other gene variants and/or with lifestyle factors to influence disease risk.
Much of my research is carried out in large population studies and includes collaborations with clinicians, molecular biologists, and geneticists. My current research is focused mainly in the areas of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis.