The Maryland Genetics, Epidemiology, and Medicine Training Program
Genetic Epidemiology - Students
I am primarily interested in methods for and applications of DNA methylation (DNAm), particularly as applied to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My work has focused on parsing technical and biological signal from the Illumina 450K Array, specifically in the characterization of multimodal distributions of DNAm signal. I have also worked on understanding the role of SNPs and haplotypes in DNAm (and as applied to ASD), and the extent of blood-brain DNAm concordance in ASD.
I earned a MPH in Epidemiology with a Certificate in Public Health Genetics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, from which I graduated in 2013. My continued interest in genetics led me to apply to the Genetic Epidemiology PhD program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am a trainee on the NEI T32 Statistical Genetics of Ocular Disorders training grant.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
Norazlin Kamal Nor
My research interest is tin developmental psychopathology, autism spectrum disorders and child health, development and protection.
Entered Program: 2013
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
Kelly Bakulski joined the JHSPH genetic epidemiology group in 2013 as a post doctoral research fellow working with Dani Fallin and Andy Feinberg. Kelly's research focuses on environmental and genetic risk factors for autism spectrum disorders and the potential influence of the perinatal DNA methylome. She integrates molecular epidemiology, exposure assessment, nutrition, and genomics to better understand disease susceptibility through her work with the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) network.
Kelly received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences in 2012, where she studied the epigenetics of late-onset Alzheimer's disease as well as heavy metal exposure risk factors for cognitive decline.
I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of public Health. Currently I am involved with different collaborative studies on genetic epidemiology of oral cleft and a study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. My area of research is statistical genetics. My primary objective is to develop statistical and computational methods for different types of high-throughput genomics data including targeted sequencing data, whole exome sequencing data and whole genome sequencing data. My mentors are Dr. Terri Beaty and Dr. Ingo Ruczinski.