Atul Butte, MD, PhD
Director of Institute for Computational Health Sciences
Professor of Pediatrics
Executive Director for Clinical Informatics, University of California Health Sciences and Services
Graduate Program Membership: BMI, iPQB, PSPG
Dr. Butte builds and applies tools that convert more than 400 trillion points of molecular, clinical, and epidemiological data — measured by researchers and clinicians over the past decade and now colloquially known as “big data” — into diagnostics, therapeutics, and new insights into disease. His lab has developed tools to analyze genomic data sets, and has used these tools to develop new uses for existing drugs, and new diagnostics. Dr. Butte was part of the team treating the first patient presenting with a whole genome. A major new focus is the analysis of clinical data from electronic health records.
Ryan Hernandez, PhD
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
Graduate Program Membership: BioE, BMI, BMS, PSPG
Dr. Hernandez studies patterns of genetic variation from populations around the world using large scale sequencing data. Using detailed simulations and population genetic modeling, his laboratory seeks to understand the role that natural selection and demography have had on the patterning of variation throughout our genomes.
Jill Hollenbach, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Neurology
Graduate Program Membership: BMI
Dr. Hollenbach’s research focuses on analysis of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) immunogenetic systems. Beside their critical role in transplantation, over 100 infectious, autoimmune, cancer and pharmacological diseases are associated with variation of HLA and KIR. Her work spans the population genetics, evolution, and influence on health of these genes, with emphasis on their role in neurological disease. Her lab also develops software tools specifically designed for these data. Other projects include examination of alternative measures of self-reported ancestry with respect to genetics, and the relationship between patient-reported and clinician-defined disability in multiple sclerosis.
Neil Risch, PhD
Lamond Family Foundation Distinguished Professor in Human Genetics
Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Director, Institute for Human Genetics
Graduate Program Membership: BMI, BMS, ETS, PSPG
Dr. Risch focuses on the development and application of statistical methods to address problems in human population genetics and genetic epidemiology. This has involved numerous projects using linkage analysis and positional cloning to identify novel disease genes, such as the genes causing hemochromatosis and torsion dystonia, as well as methodology for dissection of genetically complex traits including autism, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis. He has also spearheaded the approach of genome-wide association studies, the recent mainstay of human genetic analysis, and developed with investigators at Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research a large genetic epidemiology research cohort on aging.
Mark Seielstad, PhD
Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and of Global Health Sciences
Graduate Program Membership: BMI, BMS
Dr. Seielstad’s research bridges epidemiology and population genetics. The main goal is to identify human genetic variation altering the risk of complex diseases involving immunity (e.g., autoimmunity and susceptibility to infectious diseases) and metabolism (e.g., type 2 diabetes). This puts an emphasis on technologies such as SNP genotyping, and next-generation sequencing to reveal and characterize polymorphisms in genome-scale data. Much of this work is carried out in geographically diverse human populations, which are also the subject of anthropological investigations that seek to characterize the global distribution of genetic variation.
Jeff Wall, PhD
Dr. Wall’s research spans a wide range of topics in evolutionary and human genetics, including models of speciation, inference of population history from sequence polymorphism data, and analyses of whole genome association study data in admixed populations. Recent studies have focused on the contribution of archaic hominid ancestry in human populations.
Chun Jimmie Ye, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
Graduate Program Membership: BMI, BMS
The Ye lab is interested in how genetics and environment interact to affect molecular phenotypes. The general strategy is to couple high-throughput sequencing with population genetics to measure and model cellular response to environmental challenges across large patient cohorts. The lab develops experimental approaches that enable the collection of functional genomic data en masse and computational methods that translate the data into biological insights. The initial focus is to study human immune cells in healthy and diseased patients to understand host pathogen interactions and its role in autoimmunity.