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The Mohlke Lab performs human genetics research in the Department of Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We are affiliated with the Computational Medicine Program, the McAllister Heart Institute, and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. PhD students in the Mohlke Lab are part of the Genetics and Molecular Biology (GMB) Curriculum or the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) PhD Curriculum, part of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP).

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Complex Trait Genetics

We identify genetic loci associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia and related quantitative traits.

Regulatory Genomics

We study genetic and environmental effects on epigenome and transcriptome variation in disease-relevant tissues

Disease Mechanisms

We determine how genetic variants affect genes and how genes function to influence disease processes

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Recent News

May 31, 2021 Glycemic trait GWAS published in Nature Genetics

With many co-authors from MAGIC and co-first author Cassie Spracklen, we identified and characterized loci for fasting glucose, fasting insulin, 2-hour glucose and hemoglobin A1c through trans-ancestry GWAS meta-analysis. Access here.

May 25, 2021 Liver chromatin accessibility QTL paper published in AJHG

Kevin Currin described liver caQTL, linked peaks to genes, and performed colocalization with eQTL and GWAS loci. Collaborators include Michael Erdos and Francis Collins at NHGRI. Access here.

February 1, 2021 Sarah awarded F31 fellowship

Sarah Brotman was awarded an F31 predoctoral individual fellowship to use adipose tissue gene expression data to identify candidate genes at loci for cardiometabolic traits and diseases.

December 9, 2020 Karen receives mentoring award

Karen was recognized by the School of Medicine Office of Graduate Research with an Award for Excellence in Basic Science Mentoring. Thanks to current and former students for the nomination!

October 2, 2020 Congratulations Kevin!

Kevin Currin successfully defended his PhD thesis in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. He described genetic and cell state effects on chromatin accessibility, including at cardiometabolic trait GWAS loci.

September 15, 2020 Type 2 diabetes R01 award

We will identify and characterize GWAS loci for insulin processing and secretion and use liver chromatin accessibility QTL to detect functional regulatory variants for insulin resistance. Collaborators include Terry Furey in the Departments of Genetics and Biology, Federico Innocenti in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Michael Boehnke and Stephen Parker at the University of Michigan.

September 11, 2020 Adiponectin allelic heterogeneity published in PLoS Genetics

Cassie Spracklen described allelic heterogeneity at GWAS loci, including statistical, genomic, and molecular dissection of seven signals at ADIPOQ and two signals at CDH13. Coauthors include ten past and current members of the lab.

August 31, 2020 Congratulations Sarah!

Sarah Brotman’s ASHG abstract was recognized as a Reviewers’ Choice abstract. She will present adipose eQTL meta-analyses in October.

August 20, 2020 Accelerating Medical Partnerships UM1 award

With collaborators at the Broad Institute, Michigan and Stanford, we will join a new consortium to bridge the gap between type 2 diabetes GWAS loci and therapeutic targets.

June 16, 2020  Multi-PI R21 award

With Chris Sayed in the Department of Dermatology and Yun Li in the Departments of Genetics, Biostatistics and Computer Science, we will study the heritability of and genetic contributions to the common skin disorder hidradenitis suppurativa.

May 6, 2020  Type 2 diabetes GWAS in East Asians published in Nature

With over 100 co-authors and co-first author Cassie Spracklen, we identified and characterized loci for type 2 diabetes through the largest GWAS in a population of non-European ancestry.  Other lab member contributors include Apoorva Iyengar, Hannah Perrin and Sarah Brotman.


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5096 Genetic Medicine Building

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7264