Northwestern Events Calendar


Exploring and Exploiting Pleiotropy in Biobanks - Nancy J. Cox, PhD

When: Friday, January 8, 2021
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Michelle Mohney   312.503.5600

Group: Center for Genetic Medicine

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Center for Genetic Medicine of Northwestern University welcomes you to attend the Richard A. Scott, MD Lecture featuring:

Nancy J. Cox, PhD
Mary Phillips Edmonds Gray Professor of Genetics
Director, Vanderbilt Genetics Institute and Division of Genetic Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The Cox Laboratory develops methods for analyzing genetic and genomic data and then applies those methods to the analysis of genome data on common diseases and translational phenotypes, such as pharmacogenomics traits.  The lab has a particular focus now on the integration of information on genome function with methods for the analysis of genome data on disease and complex traits, including in ancient populations. In addition to funded research on the analysis of genome data from studies on pharmacogenomics, breast cancer, diabetes and its complications, stuttering and specific language impairment, autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Tourette Syndrome and OCD the lab also been funded to develop methods and conduct analysis for GTEx Project data. 

Dr. Cox also worked for many years on the analysis of sequence data in the context of the T2DGENES project, and continues to collaborate with investigators at the University of Michigan (Boehnke and Abecasis) in generating content for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) funded portal serving results and analyses for sequencing and other genome studies in type 2 diabetes. She is co-PI of one of the Centers for Common Disease Genomics (CCDG) Analytic Centers, another activity in sequence analysis space. In addition, Dr. Cox is co-PI of a Center of Excellence in Health Disparities, and Project PI for the population sciences project in the SFRN from the AHA on the contributions of obesity to cardiometabolic disease and co-PI of a project (with colleagues Ela Knapik and Jim Sutcliffe) to identify neuropsychiatric disorders with comorbid phenotypes in which the lab will use zebrafish models to identify underlying genetic mechanisms. 

A major focus of current research is in conducting research in BioVU, the biobank at Vanderbilt University, in which the lab has DNA samples on more than 285,000 subjects linked to electronic health records going back average of ~10 years, and up to 20 years in some patients. More than 120,000 of those samples (including all 20,000 samples of recent African ancestry) have genome interrogation through GWAS and/or exome or whole genome sequencing, and the lab has high quality phenome data in a total of 2.8 million patients. The research the lab has been doing with PrediXcan in BioVU is particularly amenable to iterating between model systems and humans.

Richard A. Scott, MD, Lecture Series
The Scott Lecture Series was created as an educational platform to appeal to the medical community of Northwestern University. It is funded under the generous bequest of alum Richard A. Scott, MD. After Dr. Scott passed away, his wife and family established the lecture series in honor of Dr. Scott’s lifelong interest in research and learning.

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