Tennille Leak-Johnson, Ph.D., M.S.

Tennille Leak-Johnson, Ph.D., M.S. 

Assistant Professor

Department of Physiology

Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI)
Location: Research Wing, Room 210
Phone: (404) 756-5225
E-mail: tleakjohnson@msm.edu


University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
University of Michigan
Fellowship: Postdoctoral

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Degree: Master of Science in Epidemiology

Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Genetics and Genomics

High Point University

Research Interests

  • Health Disparities
  • Identifying and Evaluating Genetic Risk Factors
  • Single-Cell Transcriptomics
  • Transcriptional Pathway Mapping
  • Promoter Modeling and Systems Genetics


  • Locke A.E., Kahali B., Berndt S.I., ... Leak T.S., Hirschhorn J.N., Loos R.J. and Speliotes E.K. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature 12;518(7538):197-206, 2015.
  • Shungin D., Winkler T.W., Croteau-Chonka D.C., CKDGen Consortium, Leak T.S., Lindgren C.M. and Mohlke K.L. New genetic loci link adipose and insulin biology to body fat distribution. Nature 12;518(7538):187-96, 2015.
  • Muller Y.L., Piaggi P., Hanson R.L., Kobes S., Bhutta S., Abdussamad M., Leak-Johnson T., Kretzler M., Huang K., Weil E.J., Nelson R.G., Knowler W.C., Bogardus C. and Baier L.J. A cis- eQTL in PFKFB2 is associated with diabetic nephropathy, adiposity and insulin secretion in American Indians. Hum. Mol. Genet. 15;24(10):2985-96, 2015.
  • Iyengar S.K., Sedor J.R., Freedman B.I., Kao, W.H.L., Kretzler M., Keller B.J., Abboud H.E., Adler S.G., Best L.G., Bowden D.W., Burlock A., Ida Chen, Y.D., Cole S.A., Comeau M.E., Curtis J.M., Divers J., Drechsler C., Duggirala R., Elston R.C., Guo X, Huang H., Hoffmann M.M., Howard B.V., Ipp E, Kimmel P.L., Klag M.J., Knowler M.C., Kohn O., Leak T.S., Leehey D.J., Li M., Malhotra A., März W., Nair V., Nelson R.G., Nicholas S.B., O'Brien S.J., Pahl M.V., Parekh R.S., Pezzolesi M.G., Rasooly R.G., Rotimi C.N., Rotter J.I., Schelling J.R., Seldin M.F., Shah V.O., Smiles A.M., Smith M.W., Taylor K.D. Thameem F., Thornley-Brown, D.P., Truitt B.J., Wanner C., Weil E.J., Winkler C.A., Zager P.G., Igo Jr R.P., Hanson, R.P., Langefeld C.D. and Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND). Genomewide association and trans-ethnic meta-analysis for advanced diabetic kidney disease: Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND). PLoS Genetics. 25;11(8):e1005352, 2015.
  • Parsa A., Kanetsky P.A., Xiao R., Gupta J., Mitra N., Limou S., Xie D., Xu H., Anderson A.H., Ojo A., Kusek J.W., Lora C.M., Hamm L.L., He J., Sandholm N., Jeff J., Raj D.E., Böger C.A., Bottinger E., Salimi S., Parekh R.S., Adler S.G., Langefeld C.D., Bowden D.W., FIND Consortium; Groop P.H., Forsblom C., Leak T.S., Freedman B.I., Lipkowitz M., Fox C.S., Winkler C.A., Feldman H.I., and the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study Investigators. Genome- wide association of CKD progression: the chronic renal insufficiency cohort study. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 28(3):923-934, 2017.
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Honors and Awards

  • Postdoctoral Professional Development and Enrichment Award Recipient (FASEB)
  • NIH/NIMHD Loan Repayment Program: Health Disparities Research Award
  • University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Award (KL2)