Our research is centered around using human population genetics to understand the role of genetics in human health outcomes. We are strongly interested in leveraging population differences in the genetic architecture of rare and common disorders to serve community health.
This type of research involves understanding both the environmental and clinical contexts in which genetics contributes to phenotype in different populations. We employ three main strategies to carry out this research. The first is evolutionary genetic approaches to understanding why humans vary, where in the genome this may occur, and how this may affect disease risk. The second is using population genetic approaches to address epidemiological questions, such as predicting who might be at highest risk for a particular disease and understanding the genetic architecture underlying this. Lastly, we use anthropological genetics approaches to understand the genetic variation and environmental contexts which may predispose an individual to disease. This involves extensive fieldwork to understand the contribution of human genetic and local environmental variation to phenotypic variation among specific populations.
This multi-pronged approach enables us to apply population genetic principles and approaches broadly to understand the genetic contribution to community health outcomes, which can be multifaceted and vary among populations and disease contexts.