Richard Watanabe, PhD

Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences; Associate Dean for Health and Population Science Programs


Health Equity Interests

We work on genetics & pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes/obesity. We strive to determine the physiologic mechanisms underlying disease risk.


I have a primary interest in the pathophysiology and genetics of type 2 diabetes mellitus. My research program focuses on genetics, pathophysiology (and the correlation with genetics), and mathematical modeling of physiologic systems.

In the area of complex disease genetics, I am focusing on both positional cloning of susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related traits and understanding the gene-phenotype relationships and how they are impacted by environmental exposures.

Courses Taught

  • Biological and Behavioral Basis of Disease
  • Principles of Biostatistics
  • Introduction to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Statistical Problem Solving
  • Applied Statistical Methods in Human Genetics
  • Statistical Genetics II Theory and Practice
  • Health Behavior Research Methods