Dr. Jennifer E. "Piper" Below
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control
Human Genetics Center
Generally, I am interested in developing and applying computational methodologies to further our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. Recently, my efforts have focused in three areas.
- We solved the problem of maximal unrelated set identification in arbitrarily large genetic datasets using a novel application of graph theory and are tackling the reverse problem of reconstructing pedigrees from estimates of genomic sharing. I am now expanding this work to genetically heterogeneous and admixed populations.
- I also work through the Center for Mendelian Genomics, to develop and apply methods to identify the genetic cause of Mendelian diseases using high density next generation sequence data. Using linkage analysis in complex pedigrees and whole genome sequence data, we recently uncovered the genetic cause of several Mendelian disorders including a cranio-facial abnormality and a skeletal dysplasia.
- In addition, I study the genetics of complex traits. I work with the T2D-GENES Consortium, and specifically with the Starr County Mexican American population, to uncover novel susceptibility factors for type 2 diabetes and related complications.
A tutorial in my lab would introduce a student to human genetics and the major issues currently involved in disease gene mapping in diseases ranging from common to rare. The student would work with extremely large and dense datasets of genetic variation derived from ethnically diverse populations.
Office: RAS E-429
Title: Assistant Professor
Ph.D. - The University of Chicago - 2011