The Rau lab works to understand the genetic mechanisms which contribute to the susceptibility to and progression of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.  Our hearts are regulated by a web of thousands of interactions between genes that is further influenced by environmental factors such as diet or age.  We use a combination of high-throughput assays and novel computational tools to understand this complexity.  We apply this approach, called Systems Genetics, to animal models of disease, gathering intermediate phenotypes at the epigenomic and transcriptomic levels.  We then test our predictions using molecular biology and genetics approaches in in vitro and in vivo systems.  Our results provide insights into how multiple layers of biological information act together to drive common, complex diseases and the molecular mechanisms by which the genes we identify lead to phenotypic changes.