You are here

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

2016

2015

2014

Aslibekyan, S. et al., 2014. DNA methylation patterns are associated with n-3 fatty acid intake in Yup'ik people. J Nutr, 144(4), pp.425-30.
Klimentidis, Y.C. et al., 2014. CDKAL1 and HHEX are associated with type 2 diabetes-related traits among Yup'ik people. J Diabetes, 6(3), pp.251-9.

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
  • Center for Alaska Native Health Research awarded $5.3M grant
    (5 October 2012) The five-year grant is the final in a series of National Institutes of Health grants meant to build biomedical research infrastructure. The center has been studying obesity, genetics, nutrition, cancer and resilience in Alaska Natives for 11 years.
  • Native health research program opens Bethel clinic
    (25 April 2012) The University of Alaska Fairbanks Center for Alaska Native Health Research will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new clinical research facility at the Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel May 3 at 4 p.m.
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)