I am a statistical geneticist, which means it is my job to make sense of the large volumes of genetic data being produced. My interest in genetics started with my first introduction to the field in high school. Because I was always good at math, I was excited to learn about statistical genetics, where I could marry my two interests.
Here at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, my primary focus is the genetic contributions to variation in phenotypes (characteristics of people). Rather than look at a single characteristic, I focus on many, including inappropriate heart development, allergic conditions (including asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis), and how people respond to medications.
My approach to variation in phenotypes is to consider multiple factors jointly. This is important because we often find that a single genetic variant does not explain outcomes. Rather, the context in which a gene variant occurs (other genetic variants, environmental factors) is important. My research focuses on identifying combinations of factors that best explain phenotypes. This work has resulted in a better understanding of heart development and why certain individuals develop asthma or eosinophilic esophagitis.
My role at Cincinnati Children’s extends beyond my research. I am proud to support the next generation of researchers and have mentored many students, trainees and faculty throughout my career.
Statistical genetics; genetics of heart malformations; pharmacogenetics; genetics of allergic disorders
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics