I am a statistical geneticist working in the area of quantitative genetics, i.e. the genetics of complex phenotypes. I work in two areas within this subject: 1. development of statistical tools for identifying genes responsible for variation in complex phenotypes such as diseases and for modeling developmental pathways, 2. experimental quantitative analysis of developmental genetic pathways using Drosophila as a model system. Research in my group addresses questions in a number of fields: genomics, genetic medicine, veterinary sciences, plant sciences, Drosophila genetics, theoretical and statistical quantitative genetics, and evolutionary-developmental biology.
My primary research focus is understanding the genetics, development, and evolution of characteristics with a complex genetic basis. Current research in my group can be divided into three main areas: 1. Statistical and computational approaches for finding genes underlying complex disease and quantitative phentoypes. 2. Modeling genetic networks and developmental pathways. 3. Quantitative genetics and evolution of Drosophila.
I teach a yearly four credit course in Quantitative Genomics and Genetics and a topics course in this same area. A description of the four credit course follows: A rigorous treatment of analysis techniques used to understand complex genetic systems. This course will cover both the fundamentals and advances in statistical methodology used to analyze disease, agriculturally relevant, and evolutionarily important phenotypes. Analysis techniques will include association mapping, interval mapping, and analysis of pedigrees for both single and multiple QTL models. Application of classic inference and Bayesian analysis approaches will be covered and there will be an emphasis on computational methods. I teach an annual seminar course on Quantitative Genomics aimed at graduate students where we discuss current journal articles and advances in the field. This past semester, I was one of four people contributing to a team-taught Bioinformatics course.
My outreach focus includes providing quantitative genomic research opportunities for high school students and developing modules for quantitative genomic education that can be presented at the high school level. For the former of these, we have had a high school student working in my lab as part of the Ithaca based Learning Web program. For the latter, I have presented at the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers workshop.