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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Researcher Awarded $1.78 Million Grant from the NHGRI to Improve Polygenic Analysis

Dr. Nilanjan Chatterjee, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and in oncology at the School of Medicine, received a $1.78 million five-year grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to develop methodologies for polygenic analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). This type of large-scale data analysis will help researchers understand the biological and causal mechanisms for the genetic basis of disease, and develop improved models for disease risk-prediction with potentially important clinical applications.

In previous studies, Dr. Chatterjee used GWAS data to demonstrate that complex traits are polygenic, with an individual trait potentially having up to tens of thousands of genetic variants.

Dr. Chatterjee’s NHGRI research project aims to develop methods to analyze publicly available results from the most recent meta-analysis of GWAS. These models will lead to a greater understanding of biological mechanisms of genetic associations for various diseases and the causal basis of the effects of risk factors like BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol level on a host of health outcomes.

Dr. Chatterjee, a statistical geneticist, has worked on the design and analysis of genome-wide association studies of cancers. He has also developed methods that help analyze gene-environment interactions, polygenic modeling and disease-risk prediction.

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