Dr. Hegele attended the University of Toronto and received his medical degree in 1981. Specialty training in internal medicine and endocrinology was followed by four years of post-doctoral training, first at the Rockefeller University, New York City, in heart disease and cholesterol, and then in human genetics at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during his research fellowship in New York City that he became inspired to pursue research in genetics. With a strong belief in the power of human genetics and genomics to help solve fundamental problems related to human health and disease, he began researching the genetic basis of several human disorders, most notably several forms of dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) and type 2 diabetes.
Rob Hegele is an endocrinologist with an interest in lipidology and diabetes, who cares for more than 1700 patients. He is the director of the Blackburn Cardiovascular Genetics Lab and London Regional Genomics Centre. He has trained many physicians in lipidology and several graduate students in human genetics. His laboratory has studied the genetic basis of diabetes and atherosclerosis in Canadian sub-populations and aboriginal communities. His lab discovered the molecular genetic basis of 12 human diseases, including hepatic lipase deficiency, Oji-Cree type 2 diabetes, familial partial lipodystrophy and endocrine-cerebro-ostedysplasia and has described more than100 human mutations causing dyslipidemia, diabetes and atherosclerosis. He has published more than 500 original peer-reviewed articles and serves on numerous journal editorial boards, including Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation, Stroke, ATVB and Journal of Lipid Research. He has received numerous international awards recognizing his research and is listed among the top 1 per cent of highly cited scientists in all disciplines.