Faculty Biographies


 

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Kathleen Barnes, PhD

​Professor and Division Head, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Barnes’ research interests include the genetic epidemiology of acute and chronic complex lung diseases as well as diseases of inflammation, most notably asthma, COPD, and atopic dermatitis. For over 20 years her population-based studies have focused almost exclusively on ethnically diverse, family-based and independent populations across the Americas with a goal of disentangling the genetic underpinnings of diseases for which there are profound disparities among underrepresented minority populations.

Current major areas of focus include:

  • New Approaches for Empowering Studies of Asthma in Populations of African Descent
  • Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (Project Leader)
  • Integrative Genomics in Asthmatics of African Descent (PI)
  • Functional impact of IL33 polymorphisms on asthma & other Th2-mediated diseases (PI)
  • A Database and Software Framework for Exploring 1,000 Genomes of African Descent (Salzberg/Barnes, PIs)
  • NHLBI TOPMed program: Validating the African Diaspora Power Chip Using WGS in Asthma Pedigree

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Katrina Claw, PhD

Assistant Professor

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Katrina Claw

 


 

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Michelle Daya, PhD

​Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Daya’s research interests include the statistical analysis of genetic data to better understand disease and improve health outcomes. Currently, her research is focused on identifying and understanding genetic risk factors of asthma, particularly in populations of African ancestry.

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Christopher Gignoux, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Gignoux is a population geneticist by training interested primarily in the confluence of human evolution and epidemiology. Currently he is working on a range of topics from population structure and demographic inference to understanding the genomic architecture of complex traits. He is deeply interested in broadening our understanding of human biology through understanding the role of human genetic diversity across the globe, and continue to perform field work with collaborators in South Africa and across Latin America. On the methods side, he is particularly interested in applications of population genetic theory, statistical modeling, and algorithmic development to improve large-scale, trans-ethnic, and biobank studies.

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Colleen Glyde Julian, PhD

​Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus

Dr. Julian's research focuses primarily on the mechanisms underlying human adaptation to the chronic hypoxia of high altitude and, in particular, how these processes influence pregnancy outcome and the long-term health of affected offspring. Using the natural laboratory of high altitude, her current studies range from the epigenetic origins of hypoxia-induced fetal growth restriction to the influence of environmental epigenetic modifiers during perinatal life for the development of pulmonary vascular dysfunction. By integrating genomic and functional (i.e., physiologic and transcriptional) human studies, the long-term goal of her work is to identify potential targets for the development of novel therapies for fetal growth restriction and its sequela, and to design more effective methods to detect individuals at risk for hypoxia-related pregnancy complications.

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Elizabeth Kudron, MD

Assistant Professor

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Kudron

 


 

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Ethan Lange, PhD

​Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Lange is a statistical geneticist with expertise in the development and application of statistical methods to genetic data. During the past 25 years, he has actively participated in numerous collaborations studying a wide-range of human diseases across a wide-range of study designs, including linkage analysis, genome-wide association studies and next-generation sequencing studies. Dr. Lange’s methodological interests primarily focus on study design for gene-mapping studies, including the use of multistage study designs and use of public genetic resources to improve power for gene discovery. He is currently playing a leading role in genetic analyses for the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) and the REasons for Geographical and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study and is a member of several NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program whole-genome sequence working groups.

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Leslie Lange, PhD

​Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Lange’s research focuses on research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of complex traits, primarily regarding cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and pulmonary related phenotypes. Particular areas of focus include genetics studies in understudied minorities and facilitating large multi-study genetic collaborations. She is currently involved in several genetic consortia, including the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program, the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) and Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Type 2 Diabetes (AMP T2D). She is a co-investigator in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), a longitudinal study of African Americans from Jackson, MS, and I co-lead the JHS Genetics committee. She also works with data from a number of other studies, including the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Many of her current projects involve analysis of next generation sequence data across multiple populations, imputation of sequence data into genome-wide association data, and identifying gene-by-environment interactions.​

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Catherine Lozupone, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

The main focus of Dr. Lozupone’s research is to understand factors that shape human microbiota composition in health and disease and to elucidate the functional consequences of compositional differences, both in terms of the biological/metabolic properties of individual bacteria and host interactions. Her work has included the development of algorithms and tools for the analysis of microbial communities based on sequence information. Her lab is currently working to understand a potential role for the human microbiome in the pathology of a variety of diseases, including HIV/AIDS, asthma, autism, and Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). Important to these projects are techniques for integrating various ‘omic datasets, most notably metagenomic, transcriptomic and metabolomics datasets. Another goal in her lab is to use bacterial genome sequences to predict and test biological properties of key bacteria that associate with the disease, such as prediction of immune modulatory molecular factors that may drive inflammatory phenotypes in the gut.

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Rasika Mathias, ScD

​Associate Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Mathias is formally trained Genetic Epidemiologist with expertise in both cardiovascular disease and lung disease with more nearly two decades of experience in the analysis of quantitative traits. She specializes in the genetics of complex diseases in populations of African ancestry, and her laboratory is actively analyzing 1800 whole genomes for CAD-related traits, 1000 whole genomes in African admixed populations for asthma, 800 genomes for atopic dermatitis as well as 500 genomes to understand genetics determinants of peanut allergy. The Mathias Computational Laboratory has an emphasis on the analysis of multi-omics data providing the integration of genomics with transcriptomics and epigenetics. She is currently a PI within the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program and is a Convener of the Hematology and Hemostasis Phenotype working group. Dr. Mathias is also a Co-PI on the Consortium on Asthma among African-ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA), a Program aimed at leveraging extensive population and biobank resources to identify genetic determinants of asthma in African ancestry populations.

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Matthew Rioth, MD

Assistant Professor, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus​

A third-generation Colorado native, Dr. Rioth received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and subsequently completed medical school, residency and oncology fellowship at Vanderbilt University as well as a graduate degree in biomedical informatics. He was awarded an American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 Young Investigator Award, and joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 2016. Working with scientists in both biomedical informatics and in oncology, Dr. Rioth’s research focuses on the identification of new cancer biomarkers and accelerating the translation of these scientific advances into the clinic.

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Tzu Lip Phang, PhD

​Associate Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Phang is the director for the Translational Informatics & Computational Resource (TICR), the computing unit for Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) which will house the high performance computing exchange and analysts to perform “big omics” data analysis. He also holds a couple of other leadership roles, including Associate Director of Bioinformatics and Analysis Core (BAC) for the Colorado Cancer Center, and co-Director of Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute (CCTSI) Informatics Education Support. His primary research interests include the discovery and development of best practice for bioinformatics and statistical pipeline to analyze genome and high-throughput omics data including various topics in Next Generation Sequencing. He has consulted and collaborated with many basic and clinical scientists in designing, analyzing, and interpreting their datasets, which leads to data driven grant proposals. To that end, he is actively involved in the educational mission of the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He is the course director for multiple full semester courses, including a graduate-level “Big Data analyses using R and Bioconductor” and “Next Generation Phenotype”, as well as “Introduction to Bioinformatics” for undergraduates. He also served as the core lecturer for a 10 days hands-on ‘omics’ workshop through a completed T15 grant (NHLBI), the Colorado Summer Institute for Biostatistics (NHLBI), and an AACR-sponsored intensive program for early career stage clinical oncologist.

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Laura Wiley, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Wiley seeks to harness the power of electronic medical records (EMRs) for precision medicine. From phenomics to pharmacogenomics, our primary goal is to help improve patient care by using and applying data, big and small alike.

She targets her research efforts in three areas:

  1. Phenotyping from EMRs
  2. Pharmacogenomics Discovery Research
  3. Clinical Pharmacogenomics Implementation

Using data from the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine’s Health Data Compass resource, she uses data science and text mining techniques to identify clinical features for research and clinical cohort identification. In addition to general phenotyping work, the lab has a strong focus on drug-related outcomes including measuring efficacy and adverse events from EMR data. Combining this clinical data with genomic data from the Center’s Biobank initiative, she hopes to identify new pharmacogenomics markers, as well as test the generalizability of known markers to minority populations. Finally, as part of the IGNITE network and PICColo (Pharmacogenomics Implementation Committee Colorado), the lab is also involved in clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics at UCHealth among other sites.

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Ivana Yang, PhD

​Professor, Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus​

Dr. Yang’s research focuses on epigenetic regulation and transcriptional profiles in pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and asthma. In this work, she has identified molecular subtypes of pulmonary fibrosis, gene expression profiles of environmental exposures in asthma, and DNA methylation changes associated with the development of asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. Dr. Yang has recently expanded her research program to encompass studying epigenetic regulation of gene expression in other diseases and exposures, including  role of epigenetics in metabolic disorders with a strong focus on prenatal exposures. In addition to her research, Dr. Yang co-leads education programs for the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM), including the development of the new Certificate in Personalized Medicine.

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Paul J Norman, PhD

Associate Professor, Divison of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Department of Immunology, Anschutz Medical Campus

​Dr. Norman studies immunogenetics, which is the genetic variation that underpins our differential responses to infection and autoimmunity. His focus is on the co-evolution of HLA molecules that are expressed by most healthy cells, and the Natural Kill (NK) cell receptors that interact with HLA to control the immune response. This work has taken him from studying organ and tissue transplants, to examining the diversity in hunter-gatherers from Africa and South America, and mining ancient human genomes to trace their immune legacy in present-day populations. His aim is to establish genetic evidence through population and molecular analysis that then informs functional experiments to determine precisely how this variation can influence immunity.

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