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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

June 2022 Welcome new PhD students!

Welcome Abdalla Alkhawaja, a Bioinformatics and Computational Biology student co-mentored by Terry Furey; Jayna Nicholas, a Genetics and Molecular Biology student co-mentored by Laura Raffield; and Sarah Lester, a Genetics and Molecular Biology student co-mentored by Samir Kelada

February 23, 2022 Congratulations Dr. Perrin!

Hannah Perrin successfully defended her PhD thesis in Genetics and Molecular Biology and will also earn a certificate in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Hannah described context-dependent regulatory mechanisms for cardiometabolic traits.

January 31, 2022 Welcome new postdoc Jon Rosen

Postdoc Jon Rosen, co-mentored by Mike Love, will lead analyses and methods development in the UNC Impact of Genomic Variation on Function project.

January 6, 2022 Adipose spliceQTL paper published in AJHG

Sarah Brotman and Chelsea Raulerson described splice junction QTL in adipose tissue, including sQTL that colocalize with cardiometabolic GWAS signals, including at NR1H3. See the article here.

January 1, 2022 Gautam awarded AHA postdoc fellowship

Gautam Pandey was awarded a fellowship from the American Heart Association to identify genetic effects on hepatic lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease

December 2, 2021 One of Sarah Brotman’s outreach activities

The Shadow a Scientist program highlighted Sarah’s role as an ambassador

November 12, 2021 Chancellor’s Science Scholar research profile

Undergraduate Abi Rohy’s research was highlighted by the Chancellor’s Science Scholar program. See the article here.

October 26, 2021 PLoS Genetics paper: Chromatin accessibility during adipocyte differentiation

Hannah Perrin and Kevin Currin described changes of accessible chromatin and gene expression levels during adipocyte differentiation. They identified GWAS variants in differentially accessible regions and demonstrated context-dependent effects on transcriptional activity.

September 1, 2021 Impact of Genomic Variation on Function

With MPIs Hyejung Won and Michael Love, we will join NHGRI’s new IGVF consortium as a characterization center. We will investigate the regulatory consequences of GWAS variants, examining effects of tissue, sex, and environmental perturbation. Many other collaborators include Yun Li and Bev Koller in the UNC Department of Genetics.

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.

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.

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 Dr. Currin!

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