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Yann Klimentidis PhD, MS

Yann  Klimentidis PhD, MS

Associate Professor

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department

1295 N. Martin Ave
Drachman Hall A242
PO Box: 245211
Tucson AZ 85724
(520) 621-0147


Yann Klimentidis, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. 

His research focuses mainly on the use of genetic information to learn about body composition, health-related behavior, and cardio-metabolic, and neurodegenerative traits/diseases. The broad goals of his research are to: 1) understand mechanisms of disease, 2) identify risk factors for disease, 3) understand health disparities, and 4) improve prediction of disease risk. Approaches include genome-wide association studies, Mendelian randomization, gene-by-environment interactions, and genetic ancestry studies.

Dr. Klimentidis uses data from the UK Biobank, NHANES, All of Us, Framingham Heart Study, and from other local, national, and global studies. Current projects focus on the genetic basis of lipid and glycemic traits, physical activity behavior, and lipedema, as well as examining the putative causal links among these traits and with cardio-metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.

Selected Publications:

Zhang X, Theodoratou E, Li X, Farrington SM, Law PJ, Broderick P, Walker M, Klimentidis YC, Rees JMB, Houlston RS, Tomlinson IPM, Burgess S, Campbell H, Dunlop MG, Timofeeva M. (2021) Genetically predicted physical activity levels are associated with lower colorectal cancer risk: a Mendelian randomization study. Br J Cancer. 124 (7): 1330-1338.

Klimentidis YC, Arora A, Newell M, Zhou J, Ordovas JM, Renquist BJ, Wood AC (2020) Phenotypic and Genetic Characterization of Lower LDL-C and Increased Type-2 Diabetes Risk in the UK Biobank. Diabetes. 69(10):2194-2205.

Choi KW, Chen CY, Stein MB, Klimentidis YC, Wang MJ, Koenen KC, Smoller JW, Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (2019). Testing Causal Bidirectional Influences between Physical Activity and Depression using Mendelian Randomization. JAMA Psychiatry. 76(4):399-408.

Klimentidis YC, Raichlen DA, Bea J, Garcia DO, Wineinger NE, Mandarino LJ, Alexander GE, Chen Z, Going SB (2018) Genome-wide association study of habitual physical activity in over 377,000 UK Biobank participants identifies multiple variants including CADM2 and APOE. International Journal of Obesity. 42: 1161–1176.

Klimentidis YC, Arora A, Zhou J, Kittles R, Allison DB (2016). The genetic contribution of West-African ancestry to protection against central obesity in African-American men but not women: results from the ARIC and MESA studies. Frontiers in Genetics. fgene.2016.00089.

Klimentidis YC, Arora A (2016) Interaction of Insulin Resistance and Related Genetic Variants with Triglyceride-Associated Genetic Variants. Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. 9(2): 154-161.

Klimentidis YC, Bea JW, Thompson P, Klimecki WT, Hu C, Wu G, Nicholas S, Ryckman KK, CHARGE Consortium Musculoskeletal Working Group, Chen Z (2016) Genetic Variant in ACVR2B Is Associated with Lean Mass. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 48(7): 1270-1275.

Klimentidis YC, Arora A, Chougule A, Zhou J, Raichlen D. (2015) FTO association and interaction with time spent sitting. International Journal of Obesity. 39(9): 1371-5.

Klimentidis YC, Chougule A, Arora A, Frazier-Wood AC, Hsu CC. (2015) Triglyceride-increasing alleles associated with protection against type-2 diabetes. PLoS Genetics. 11(5):e1005204.

Klimentidis YC, Bea JW, Lohman T, Hsieh PS, Going S, Chen Z. (2015) High genetic-risk individuals benefit less from resistance exercise intervention. International Journal of Obesity. 39(9):1371-5.

Klimentidis YC, Chen Z, Arora A, Hsu CH (2014). Association of physical activity with lower type 2 diabetes incidence is weaker among individuals at high genetic risk. Diabetologia. 57(12):2530-2534.

Klimentidis YC, Wineinger NE, Vazquez AI, De los Campos G (2014). Multiple metabolic genetic risk scores and type 2 diabetes risk in three racial/ethnic groups. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 99 (9):E1814-E1818.

Klimentidis YC, Lemas DJ, Wiener HH, O’Brien DM, Havel PJ, Stanhope KL, Hopkins SE, Tiwari HK, Boyer BB (2014). CDKAL1 and HHEX are associated with type-2 diabetes-related traits among Yup’ik people. Journal of Diabetes. 6 (3): 251-259.

Education and Training

1998                  B.A. Biology, Texas A&M University

2002                  M.S. Anthropology, University of New Mexico

2008                  Ph.D. Anthropology, University of New Mexico

2009 - 2012       Postdoctoral Training, Statistical Genetics, Dept. of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham                       

2012 - 2014      Arizona Clinical & Translational Research Graduate Certificate Program

Curriculum Vitae: 

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