Most generally, I am interested in the area of statistical and computational methods for genetic and genomic data. My work is scientifically- and data-driven, and I aim to produce research that is: reproducible, open source, and will be useful to the scientific community.
My research focuses on integrative statistical genetic and genomic analyses for large-scale whole genome sequencing data. I am developing statistical and computational frameworks for testing rare variant associations with one or more phenotypes, where phenotypic data is limited but functional data is available. I also am working on statistical fine-mapping methods to identify likely causal variants using functional data, such as tissue-specific and cell-type specific features. I am also developing scalable, cloud-based computational tools to implement efficient genome-wide analysis.
I am highly involved as a member of the NHLBI TOPMed Program. In collaboration with TOPMed working groups (including Lung, Type 2 Diabetes, Inflammation Biomarkers), I am leading analyses on rare variants, gene x environment interactions, and functional characterization of trait-associated variants. I am also contributing to multiple genome-wide association studies for various diseases.
I am engaged in multiple projects studying the impact and spread of COVID-19. I am co-leading studies providing real-time modeling of the pandemic's spread and evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on graduate students, and have contributed to a study identifying characteristics of counties disparately impacted by COVID-19.
I completed my dissertation under the advising of Dr. John Quackenbush and Dr. Xihong Lin as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and NHLBI Ruth Kirschstein Fellow. We worked to develop methods for integrative genomic analysis, or settings when multiple genomic data are available in a study. This involved developing mediation and network methods, employing scalable cluster-based computing, and applying methods to study genetic and RNASeq data.
TMD & Pain Conditions: In a long-standing collaboration with Dr. Bill Maixner at the Duke University Center for Translational Pain Medicine, I worked on projects related to temporomandibular disorder and pain conditions and identifying patient subtypes.
PTSD: I have also worked at McLean Hospital with Dr. Kerry Ressler and Dr. Guia Guffanti investigating the genetic basis of PTSD via integrative genomic methods.
Smoking Cessation: I have worked at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine with Dr. Belinda Borelli, where we characterized smokers that are unmotivated to quit so that cessation programs can be best targeted towards individuals.