Brent Richards

Brent Richards


Brent Richards, M.D., M.Sc.

Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine, Human Genetics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
CIHR Clinician Investigator
FRSQ Clinician Scientist
3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Suite H-413 Montréal, Québec H3T 1E2

Tel: 514-340-8222 ext. 4362

brent.richards [at]


Biographical Sketch

Brent Richards has trained in genetics, medicine, endocrinology, epidemiology and biostatistics. He currently practices endocrinology and runs a research program at McGill University. His research program is focused on the identification of the genetic determinants of common, aging-related diseases and the translation of these findings to improved clinical care. Dr. Richards was a CIHR Clinical Investigator and currently is an FRSQ Clinician Scientist. He has had the opportunity to participate in, and sometimes lead, genome-wide association studies recently published in Nature Genetics, The Lancet and PLoS Genetics. Brent is co-chair of the cohorts arm of the UK10K consortium where ~3,800 population-based participants have been whole genome-sequenced and these data will be made publicly available, along with 50 phenotypes.


Osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, genome-wide-association study, genetic determinants

Research or Clinical Activities

The focus of our current research program is two-fold. The first is to identify the genetic determinants of common endocrine-related disease and the second is to translate this information into improved clinical care. Research conducted in the Richards Lab uses genomics technologies to identify novel biologic pathways that cause common disease. Many drugs currently exist that target these pathways and these drugs could represent new therapeutic options for disease. Our goal is to generate novel and personalized therapeutic options by repositioning existing, less expensive drugs to new indications. Recent studies involve a genome-wide scan to understand the efficacy of certain pharmaceuticals and the link between coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.

Selected Recent Publications

A Leong, W Rehman, Z Dastani, CM Greenwood, N Timpson, L Langsetmo, C Berger, METASTROKE, L Fu, BYL Wong, S Malik, R Malik, DEC Cole D Goltzman, JB Richards. The causal effect of Vitamin D binding protein (DBP) levels on calcemic and cardiometablic diseases: A Mendelian randomization study. PLOS Medicine [IF: 14]. Oct 29, 2014. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001751 . This paper received an Editorial from PLOS Medicine.

M Ladouceur, Z Dastani, YS Aulchenko, MG Ehm, CMT Greenwood, JB Richards. The empirical power of rare variant association methods: Results from Sanger sequencing in 1,998 individuals. PLoS Genetics [IF: 9.2] 8(2): e1002496. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002496. 2012. This paper was described as a Research Highlight by Nature Genetics and Nature Methods and was a “Most Viewed” paper in PLoS Genetics.

JB Richards, Zheng HF, Spector TD. Genetics of Osteoporosis from Genome-Wide Association Studies: Advances and Challenges. Nature Reviews Genetics [IF: 31.4]. 2012 Jul 18;13(8):576-88. doi: 10.1038/nrg3228.

JB Richards,* F Rivadeneira,* M Inouye,* TM Pastinen,  N Soranzo, SG Wilson, M Falchi, R Gwilliam, KR Ahmadi, P Arp, P Whittaker, T Andrew, M Jhamai, V Kumanduri, M Moorhouse, JB van Meurs, A Hofman, HAP Pols, D Hart, G Zhai, AM Valdes, BS Kato, BH Mullin, F Zhang, P Deloukas,  AG Uitterlinden, TD Spector. Genome-Wide Association Study for Bone Mineral Density Reveals Genetic Variants Associated with Osteoporosis and Osteoporotic Fractures. The Lancet [IF: 33.8]. 2008 May 3;371(9623):1505-12. This paper received lay press coverage from the Guardian, Telegraph, Reuters, US World News and Report and several dozen other news organizations.

JB Richards, X Yuan, F Geller, D Waterworth, V Bataille, D Glass, K Song, G Waeber, P Vollenweider, KK Aben, LA Kiemeney, B Walters, N Soranzo, U Thorsteinsdottir, A Kong, T Rafnar, P Deloukas, P Sulem, H Stefansson, K Stefansson, TD Spector, Vincent Mooser. Male-pattern baldness susceptibility locus at 20p11 Nature Genetics [IF: 33.1] October 2008; doi:10.1038/ng.255

PubMed Publications – Richards JB