My main interest focuses on the genetic basis of complex traits, especially cardiovascular diseases and lipid metabolism. I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston. My graduate training focused on human population genetics, in the field of lipid metabolism. I then joined the laboratory of Dr Bev Paigen at the Jackson Laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow where I used inbred mouse strains and bioinformatics tools to locate QTL and genes influencing HDL cholesterol and other complex traits. In addition, by combining both human and mouse models, I showed that the mouse model and its tools can be used to help pinpoint the most relevant HDL genes identified by human genome wide analysis.
I joined the Department of Genetics in August 2010 to assist Michael Mahaney, Ph.D., in his research on the genetics of atherosclerosis. My work involve research related to two program projects based at Texas Biomed that are investigating heart disease: Diet and Genotype in Primate Atherosclerosis and the San Antonio Family Heart Study. I use comparative genomics approaches and bioinformatics in focusing on the identification of genes and pathways influencing variation in complex traits such as lipoprotein levels. This approach aims to facilitate the translation of the results from nonhuman primates data to our own species.