MD-Gem
The Maryland Genetics, Epidemiology, and Medicine Training Program

Genetic Epidemiology - Students

Leandros Boukos

My research interests focus on the role of the human epigenetic machinery in human homeostasis. Specifically, I am studying fundamental properties of genes encoding for chromatin modifiers, such as their expression patterns, their tolerance to variation, and their links to specific disease phenotypes. Additionally, I am working on Kabuki syndrome, one of the Mendelian disorders of the epigenetic machinery, where my focus is on characterizing the epigenomic aberrations that occur downstream of the genetic defect and give rise to the disorder.

Fei Chen

My primary interests are in genetics of pancreatic cancer and their interactions with environmental risk factors including smoking and alcohol. My dissertation is aimed to understand the genetic connections between chronic pancreatitis, diabetes and pancreatic cancer. I am also working on exome array and exome sequencing data of eye diseases and infectious diseases, conducing linkage and association analysis in population and family-based cohorts.

Michael Chou

Broadly, I am interested in population genetics and how genetic and genomic information is used. My current research involves analysing structural variation in Hirschsprung Disease, a neurodevelopmental birth defect.

Weiyan Li

I am interested in how genetics affects complex human diseases on its own and by gene-environment interaction. I am particularly interested in studying epigenetics as the intermediate layer between genes and environment. Also, I have an interest in early life exposures, especially how it may impact disease onset later in life through genetic, epigenetic or other mechanisms.

Entered Program: 2013

Stephanie Loomis

I’m interested in using genetic epi to explore the molecular mechanisms of disease, particularly disease such as diabetes, which have both strong genetic and environmental causes.

Rebecca Mitchell

The focus of my research is on variation in mitochondrial DNA, including mtDNA copy number, heteroplasmy, and inherited genetic variation. I have been investigating the association of this variation with epigenetic modifications, specifically methylation, and the effect of this variation on physical function and aging-related disease (such as phenotypes associated with reduced mtDNA copy number).

Brooke Sheppard

I am interested in genetic etiology of psychiatric disorders.  I am currently working on a pre-doc fellowship with the Section for Developmental Genetic Epidemiology of NIMH, researching environmental and genetic correlates of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

Entered Program: 2012

Doctoral Students (Click on an individual for more information)
Leandros Boukos Photo

Leandros Boukos

Fei Chen Photo

Fei Chen

Michael Chou Photo

Michael Chou

Weiyan Li Photo

Weiyan Li

Stephanie Loomis Photo

Stephanie Loomis

Rebecca Mitchell Photo

Rebecca Mitchell

Brooke Sheppard Photo

Brooke Sheppard

Masters Students
Post-Doc Students (Click on an individual for more information)
Sampling of Former Students
Doctorate
Name Degree Year Research Project Current Position
Norazlin Kamal Nor PhD 2017
Samantha Bomotti PhD 2017 Assessing the Nongenetic and Genetic Factors Affecting Refraction among the Aging Adult Population
Man Li PhD 2015 Understanding the genetic architecture of kidney function through analysis of genome-wide arrays Postdoc Fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (PI: Josef Coresh); Postdoc Fellow at University of Utah Departments of Nephrology and Human Genetics (PI: Alfred Cheung, Mark Yan)
Margaret Parker PhD 2015 Exome array analysis of pulmonary function in smokers with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Poojitha Balakrishnan PhD 2015 Determinants of Blood Pressure Trajectories: the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Corinne Keet PhD 2014 Assistant Professor, JHMI
Genevieve Wojcik PhD 2013 Genomics of OPV response in Bangladeshi Children Post-Doc Stanford University, PI: Carlos Bustamante
Matthew Gribble PhD 2013 Arsenic Exposure, Arsenic Metabolism and Diabetes in the Strong Heart Post-Doc USC PI: Duncan Thomas
Dana Behneman PhD 2012 “Fine-Mapping linkage and family-based association of familial idiopathic scoliosis and chromosome 1”. (co-advisor with A.F. Wilson) Teacher
Asieh Golozar PhD 2012 Candidate Inflammation-related Genes and Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Research Associate Department of Epidemiology JHSPH
Adrienne Tin PhD 2012 Research topic to be determined; possibly investigating genetic and environmental predictors of type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome Post-doctoral fellow Department of Epidemiology JHSPH PI: Linda Kao
Tao Wu PhD 2011 Candidate genes for oral clefts: Testing for gene-environment interaction in Chinese case-parent trios Associate Professor, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
Andrew Jaffe PhD 2010 Incorporating High-Throughput DNA Methylation Data in Epidemiological Studies Investigator Lieber Institute for Brain Development
Bhoom Suktitpat PhD 2010 GWAS of inflammatory Markers in the GeneStar Study Instructor Department of Biochemistry Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital
Katherine Bowers PhD 2009 Oxidative Stress Pathway and Autism Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati
Kelly Benke PhD 2009 lL1 genotypes and cognitive trajectories Post-Doc JHSPH PI: Brion Maher
Adam Naj PhD 2008 Genetic Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Related Endophenotypes in the Old Order Amish Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Edwina Yeung PhD 2008 Family history of coronary heart disease and the risk of type 2 diabetes; The effects of weight loss and macronutrient intake independent of weight loss on serum adiponectin levels Tenure-track Investigator, NIH, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Epidemiology Branch
Audrey Chu PhD 2008 Characterization of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Susceptibility Genes and their Interactions with Environmental Risk Factors in the Population Post-doctoral fellow, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Ching-Yu Cheng PhD 2008 Searching for human obesity genes by linkage and admixture mapping Assistant Professor, National Singapore University
Yu-Ching Cheng PhD 2008 Genetic Epidemiology of inflammatory responses to high fat diet and aspirin Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, School of Medicine, The University of Maryland
Amy Mahoney Matteini PhD 2007 Homocysteine and Frailty Research Associate Division of Geriatric Medicince and Geronotology JHMI
Audrey Grant PhD 2007 Genetic factors influencing immunoglobulin E levels and burden of Schistosoma mansoni infection in an endemic population in Brazil. Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, INSERM / Université Paris Descartes
Masters
Name Degree Year Research Project Current Position
Zoe Packman MHS 2016
Jennifer Wang ScM 2015 A genome-wide association study of survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
Yanzi Xiao ScM 2015 Detecting Gene-Gene Interactions for Cleft Lip with/without Cleft Palate in Targeted Sequencing Data Data Analyst at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at NCI
Stephanie Williams ScM 2012 Associations of 16p 11.2 CNVs with Autism: Communication and Family understand of Risk Statistical Analyst, Genetics Department at UNC
Tian Xiao Zhang ScM 2011 Pathway analysis in a case-parent trio study of oral clefts PhD Student, Washington Univeristy
Tiffany Green MHS 2011 The Heritability of Immunoglobulin Response to Schistosoma mansoni Infection in a Rural Brazilian Community Program Analyst, National Cancer Institute, NIH
Patel Poorav MHS 2010 X-Linked Genetic Factors Associated with Oral Facial Cleft Phenotypes. (co-advisor with M.D. Fallin) Medical Student Oregon Health & Science University
Rehan Qayyum MHS 2010 Genetic Determinants of Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease as measured by Stress Thallium Scan
Tanda Murray MHS 2008 Using genome wide SNPs to characterize admixture in African Americans and an African Caribbean MD/PhD Student, Mayo Clinic
Evaristus Nwulia MHS 2008 Genome-wide analysis of alcohol dependence subphenotype of bipolar disorder. Assistant Professor Director Psychiatric Neuroscience Laboratory Howard University
Roxann Ashworth MHS 2007 Association between genes on chromosome 4p16 and non-syndromic cleft lip and/or cleft palate Director, Sanger Sequencing and Real-Time PCR Laboratory JHMI