Aarno Palotie, Associated Faculty
Aarno Palotie is a faculty member at the Center for Human Genome Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, an associate member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and research director of the Human Genomics Program at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) in Helsinki. The overall goal of Palotie´s group is to improve the understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying common diseases. Much of the group’s work draws on the unique clinical- and population-based samples collected from the Finnish founder population. One of the main focus areas is genetics of neurological, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric traits. The long lasting geographical and linguistic isolation, internal migrations, famines and rapid, recent expansions have molded the population structure of Finland for thousands of years. Such population isolates provide exceptional opportunities for identification of genome variations underlying disease traits. Because Finland’s unique population structure is combined with the one-payer health care system, the harmonized training of physicians, and tradition in epidemiological research, the country has become one the most interesting places for genetic epidemiology. The availability of large sample collections (www.nationalbiobanks.fi), mostly performed by the Institute of Health and Welfare (THL, www.thl.fi), has stimulated large international collaborative projects such as the SISu project (Sequencing Initiative Suomi) that combines most of the large-scale sequence data produced worldwide. The aim is to construct a large genome data resource that facilitates the development of strong genome medicine programs. Diseases of specific interest in the Palotie group are migraine, schizophrenia, epilepsy, their comorbidities, and some cardiovascular traits. The wealth of multiple large study samples enables the group to use different study designs for genome variant identification and verification and for the estimation of the size of the effect contributed by the variants. These include large collaborative genome wide association (GWA) and sequencing studies, and studies that utilize family structures and extreme population bottlenecks to identify low frequency variants. Palotie received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Oulu, with his specialty in clinical chemistry at the University of Helsinki. His past positions include professorships at the University of Helsinki and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), director of the Finnish Genome Centre at the University of Helsinki, and senior group leader at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Elise Robinson, Associated Faculty
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at HSPH
Jessica Alfoldi, Manager, Scientific Data & Partnerships
Jessica is the associate director of genomic data; she coordinates our work on gnomAD and other related projects, as well as our interactions with industry.
Alex Bloemendal, Computational Scientist II
Alex Bloemendal is a computational scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and at the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital. As a member of Broad institute member Ben Neale’s lab, Bloemendal leads a group in developing new methods to analyze genetic data, harnessing its unprecedented scope and scale to discover the genetic causes of disease. He also co-founded and directs the Models, Inference & Algorithms initiative at the Broad, bridging computational biology, mathematical theory, and machine learning. Bloemendal is an institute scientist at the Broad. Bloemendal was previously a research scientist in the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and a Simons Fellow in the Department of Mathematics at Harvard University. His research in probability theory and random matrices focused on questions of signal and noise in high-dimensional data; he proved an open conjecture with wide-reaching applications for fields including population genetics. He also earned a teaching award for an advanced course on probability. Bloemendal received an Hon. B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Toronto.
Jon Bloom, Principal Software Engineer
Jon Bloom is a mathematician, engineer, and co-founder of the Hail project (hail.is) at the Broad Institute, building an open-source framework for scalable genomic analysis. He also co-founded and directs the Models, Inference & Algorithms Initiative (broadinstitute.org/mia), bridging computational biology, mathematical theory and machine learning. Prior to joining the Broad, he did research in geometry and algebraic topology as a Moore Instructor and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While there, he re-architected the department’s course 18.05 on probability and statistics for life scientists, now among the most popular offerings on MIT OpenCourseWare. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D. from Columbia University in Mathematics.
Claire Churchhouse, Scientific Advisor
Claire completed a doctorate in the department of Statistics at Oxford University, under the supervision of Jonathan Marchini, where her thesis work focused on statistical methods of ancestry deconvolution in admixed populations. She joined to the Broad Institute in 2012 as a postdoc in David Altshuler’s group where she developed QC methods for untargeted metabolomics data, and studied associations between the metabolome, genetics, and type 2 diabetes risk. In early 2015 Claire joined the Neale group as Scientific Advisor, responsible for helping to drive and implement the scientific strategy of the group and for supporting group members across a diverse range of projects.
Dan Howrigan, Research Scientist and Data Group Leader
Daniel oversees the SNP array and sequence analysis pipeline in the Neale lab, with a primary focus on furthering genetic discovery in complex psychiatric disease through collaborative partnerships and high-throughput data analysis. His post-doctoral research has been focused on deciphering the role of rare genetic variation in schizophrenia. Daniel received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Colorado, Boulder (supervised by Dr. Matthew Keller and Dr. Matthew McQueen). During his time in Colorado, his research investigated the detection of autozygosity (a genetic signature of inbreeding), and its role in general cognitive ability and schizophrenia liability.
Hailiang Huang, Instructor
Hailiang Huang is an Instructor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associated Scientist of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is also an instructor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Hailiang’s research focuses on the genetics of complex disorders, especially autoimmune and psychiatric disorders. He is interested in developing new statistical and analytical methods, and use them to pinpoint and understand the genetic factors driving human complex disorders. His studies usually use large-scale omics data from various consortia and public available sources such as UK Biobank, NIH Roadmap, and GTEx. Hailiang developed GWiS, a gene-based association test that has been used in many consortia to find genes associated with human complex disorders (Huang et al., PLoS Genetics, 2011). He is a member of the International Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC) and has co-led its recent fine-mapping effort to resolve known genetic associations to variants with high causal probabilities (Huang et al., Nature, 2017). He is also leading a workgroup in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) to build a large-scale Asian schizophrenia cohort and use this cohort to understand the genetic architecture of schizophrenia in the Asian populations. Hailiang’s other research interests include developing methods for testing rare variants with population stratification, investigating the connection between tissue-specific gene regulation and non-coding genetic associations, and understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying the spontaneous clearance of the hepatitis C virus. Hailiang received cross-disciplinary training combining engineering, genetics and medicine. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, supervised by Dr. Joel Bader. He completed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Mark Daly at MGH and the Broad Institute.
Anne O’Donnell, Research Fellow
Anne is the Associate Director for the Center for Mendelian Genomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and a member of the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is an Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Anne’s research in the MacArthur lab focuses on improving rare variant interpretation and novel disease gene discovery using large scale reference population databases including ExAC and gnomAD. She has contributed to the development of the frequency filtering approach and also constraint metrics including pLI and regional missense constraint. She is also interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of incomplete penetrance. In her second life, she is a clinical and biochemical geneticist at Boston Children’s Hospital where she runs a clinic focused on evaluating families with epigenetic disorders. Anne received her MD, PhD from Columbia Medical School where she studied with Drs. Timothy Bestor and Fatemeh Victoria Haghighi on the role of DNA methylation changes in the pathophysiology of cancer and psychiatric disease. She completed her clinical training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in a combined pediatrics-genetics residency and a medical biochemical fellowship. As a clinical fellow, she joined the MacArthur laboratory.
Stephan Ripke, Research Scientist
Stephan is a key member of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), a collaborative effort that involves 50 datasets from research groups from 17 countries. Stephan is responsible for performing the combined analysis of the raw genetic data from the Consortium members. To do this, he has created a computer pipeline that standardizes data, imputes missing values, performs the final analysis and brings the results into displayable format (e.g. the Web based toolRICOPILI). This collection of computer programs is unique in its ability to analyze millions and millions of data points in a short period of time, a critical ability that has allowed genome-wide association studies of psychiatric data to produce concrete results. Stephan’s current GWAS research focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and cross-disease analyses. In addition to this research project, Stephan is collaborating with a plethora of additional GWAS groups (mostly consortias) for human traits, like HIV, Crohn’s Disease, AMD (age-related macular degeneration),Psychopharmacogenetics, smoking, height, weight, sudden cardiac death, stroke,anxiety,multiple sclerosis, and restless legs syndrome.
Cotton Seed, Senior Principal Software Engineer
Cotton Seed is a Senior Principal Software Engineer and leader of the Hail team at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Prior to joining the Broad, he did a PhD in Mathematics at Princeton University and spent over a decade building high-performance computing systems with a focus on advanced compiler technology at Connected Components Corp, Intel, and Reservoir Labs, among others.
Christine Stevens, Sr. Project Manager
Christine Stevens, a Senior Project Manager, joined The Broad Institute in 2003. Christine possesses a diverse knowledge of genomic technologies, and analyzes, and has strong experience in funding regulations and compliance. She is well versed in project management, high-throughput processes, and large-scale data. Christine oversees the Autism and Inflammatory Bowel Disease genetics projects.
Alice Zheng, M.S., Senior Project Coordinator
Alice Zheng is a Senior Project Coordinator in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She supports Hailiang Huang with the Asian Initiatives and works in conjunction with cross-functional groups in America and Asia to support the project management team and their ongoing research of psychiatric diseases. Her role involves collaborative research projects with several of Broad’s international partnerships as they continue to work towards cutting-edge research in the area of severe mental illnesses.
Henrike Heyne, Visiting Research Fellow
Henrike Heyne is a research fellow at ATGU and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, mentored by Prof. Mark Daly. She is generally interested in human genetics; with a focus on rare epilepsy disorders and aiming to bring research back to clinical application. Previously based at the University of Leipzig and the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, she has also been working on the genetics of other brain phenotypes like obesity and animal behavior.
Gianmarco Mignogna, Visiting student
Gianmarco is a master degree student in Biostatistics at Università Bicocca in Milan. He's working in the Neale lab under the mentorship of Andrea Ganna on a project with the aim to capture epidemiological biases using genetic data as well as identifying shared characteristic of individuals driving these biases.
Marcos Santoro, Visiting Researcher
Marcos is a visiting researcher at the ATGU and Broad Institute. He did his PhD at Federal University of Sao Paulo under the guidance of Dr. Sintia Belangero, in which he has explored genetic and epigenetic changes during the course of schizophrenia. During his PhD, he also did a one-year training in bioinformatics at SGDP of King's College London. Currently, he is working with a longitudinal cohort of children and adolescents at risk for psychiatric disorders and his postdoc project focuses on understanding the implications of admixture for the polygenic risk scores and develop new methods to improve genetic prediction.
Clara Williamson, Visiting Undergraduate Student
Clara is an undergraduate at Tufts earning a double major in Biology and Spanish. She has a history in genetic disease research and is working on the Rare Genomes Project during her senior year of college.
Liam Abbott, Associate Computational Biologist I
Liam is an Associate Computational Biologist in the Neale lab. He is interested in understanding the genetics underlying human traits and disease through the application of statistical methods and computational techniques. He received an MS in Applied Statistics from the University of Michigan in 2015 and a BA in Mathematics from Williams College in 2013.
Harindra Arachchi, Software Engineer
Harindra is part of the Engineering team at the Broad Center for Mendelian Genomics at ATGU. Prior to that, he worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and was with the Cancer group at the Broad Institute of MIT. He works on developing software tools and methods that help study rare genetic diseases. He has a Bachelors degree in Computer science with minors in Biology and Mathematics along with a MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Business analysis.
Brandon Avila, Associate Computational Biologist
Brandon Avila is an Associate Computational Biologist at ATGU and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Dr. Mark Daly's lab. His current research involves rare variant discovery in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He is a recent graduate of MIT, where he received is undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Physics.
Samantha Baxter, Genetic Counselor/Clinical Project Manager II
Samantha is the clinical project manager at the Broad Institute’s Center for Mendelian Genomics. She is a genetic counselor who has worked in the area of cardiovascular genetics and now focuses on the management and sharing of both clinical and genetic data.
Nikolas Baya, Associate Computational Biologist
Nikolas is an Associate Computational Biologist in the Neale Lab. He is interested in using genomic data to study the etiology of enigmatic human diseases. Working under the mentorship of Raymond Walters, he is investigating the heritability of a large number of traits in the UK Biobank and looking for evidence of sex-specific differences. Nikolas graduated from Brown University in 2018 with a BS in Applied Mathematics.
Sam Bryant, Senior Data Management Specialist
Jaime Chang, Project Coordinator
Jaime Chang is a Project Coordinator for the Rare Genomes Project and Broad Institute’s Center for Mendelian Genomics. She was previously a research associate in the Broad Institute’s Genetic Perturbation Platform and also has prior marketing experience in healthcare and biotech.
Katherine Chao, Associate Computational Biologist I
Katherine is a computational biologist conducting exome analyses for families with rare disease. Before joining the Broad, she worked in the NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program.
Christina Chen, Computational Associate I
Christina is an Associate Computational Biologist in the Neale Lab. She graduated in 2017 from Harvard College with a BA in Mathematics. She is interested in applying mathematics to solve problems in biological contexts. She is currently working under the mentorship of Alex Bloemendal to extend the LD regression model to account for epistasis and determine if this extension can capture additional heritability.
Danfeng Chen, Computational Associate I
Danfeng is an Associate Computational Biologist with Dr. Benjamin Neale at the Analytical Translational Genetics Unit and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research focuses ondeciphering the genetic risk factors of psychiatric diseases, and developing analytical tools for GWAS data. Danfeng is a recent graduate from Harvard T. H. Chan school of Public Health where she received her master degree in Computational Biology & Quantitative Genetics.
Laura Gauthier, Computational Scientist II
Laura is a computational biologist jointly based in the MacArthur lab and the Broad Institute Data Sciences and Data Engineering (DSDE) platform. She works on the development of variant-calling pipelines for rare disease samples.
Mekdes Getaneh (Duni), Senior Coordinator
My name is Mekdes, but I go by Duni. I am originally from Ethiopia. I am currently working in the MacArthur lab more specifically in Rare Genomes Project as a Senior coordinator. I graduated from Gordon College with a B.S. in Biology in 2014.
Jackie Goldstein, Associate Software Engineer
Jackie Goldstein is an Associate Software Engineer and is a member of the Hail team. Her previous work included developing a rare variant caller for genotyping arrays and finding genetic risk factors for adverse drug events such as clozapine-induced agranulocytosis and drug-induced liver injury. She also contributed to the design of the PsychChip array and the subsequent genome-wide association studies for the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.
Research Associate with Elise Robinson. She is working on cognitive phenotypic associations with psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. She received her B.A. in History of Science from Harvard College in 2016.
Daniel King, Senior Software Engineer
Dan is a software engineer working on the Hail project. He is interested in developing libraries and languages that provide a natural and high-performance mode of interaction for scientists. He has previously worked at a local software start-up and studied for a (incomplete) PhD in Programming Languages.
Mitja Kurki, Research Fellow
Mita is a software engineer transformed into bioinformatician with general research interests in application of genomic and computational methods to elucidate the genetic basis of complex diseases. His current projects focus on intellectual disability, Alzheimer’s disease, familial migraine and intracranial aneurysms. A long-term goal of his research is in development of Finnish genetic reference database (http://www.sisuproject.fi/) and nation- and phenomewide genetic analyses utilizing extensive Finnish health care registries. He is leading the genetic analysis team in a large project, which aims to genotype 500 000 Finns and couple the genetic data with health registry data of each participant. These activities will contribute to a reference database used in rare variant studies, powerful phenome-wide association studies elucidating genetic basis of health and disease and eventually hopefully as a step in realizing the promise of personalized medicine in the future. He has previously worked as a software engineer in startup environment, researcher in laboratory of functional genomics and bioinformatics, University of Eastern Finland and as a bioinformatician in NeuroCenter,Kuopio University Hospital, Finland. "
Kristen Laricchia, Associate Computational Biologist I
Kristen is an associate computational biologist who works on the preliminary analyses and management of datasets for the Exome Aggregation Consortium and novel gene discovery for Mendelian diseases.
Idara Ndon, Project Coordinator
Melanie O’Leary, Senior Clinical Manager
Melanie is a genetic counselor and the senior clinical manager for the Rare Genomes Project. Her background spans clinical care, research coordination, and clinical laboratory settings. She is involved in multiple aspects of the project including leading the return of results to families enrolled in the study.
Lynn is a genomic variant analyst who helps interpret rare disease exomes and genomes to identify causal candidate genes and variants. She also manages and coordinates activities for certain rare disease cohorts, working closely with a set of clinical collaborators from around the world. @LynnPais
Tim Poterba, Software Engineer
Tim Poterba is a software engineer working on the Hail project in Ben Neale's group at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. His primary interest is the application of modern computing technology to accelerate biomedical research. Prior to joining the Broad, he studied protein folding dynamics at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry on a Fulbright Scholarship. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Amherst College in 2013.
F. Kyle Satterstrom, Computational Biologist
Kyle Satterstrom is a computational biologist in the Daly group at ATGU and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His work focuses on aggregating and analyzing whole exome sequence data to study the genetic risk factors associated with autism spectrum disorder. Prior to joining ATGU, Kyle received his PhD in bioengineering from Harvard in 2015. He conducted his dissertation research in the laboratory of Marcia Haigis at Harvard Medical School, where he studied genes involved in the regulation of metabolism and longevity.
Patrick Schultz, Software Engineer
Patrick Schultz recently joined the Hail team as a software engineer. Patrick is especially interested in the intersection of math and computer science and recently posted a NASA-funded book on his postdoctoral research in mathematics at MIT (https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.10258). He is excited to bring theory to practice for scientists by helping to build a better Hail.
Hana Snow, Software Engineer
Hana is a software engineer working on building tools to facilitate rare disease research. She studied computer science with a minor in engineering biology.
Matthew Solomonson, Associate Computational Biologist I
Matt is a software engineer interested in developing interactive visualization tools for exploring large biological datasets. He studied protein structural biology during his PhD at the University of British Columbia.
Katherine Tashman, Associate Computational Biologist I
Kate Tashman is an Associate Computational Biologist with the Neale Lab. She is interested in studying the genetic effects on psychiatric illness as well as neurodevelopmental disorders. She received her B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Binghamton University in 2017.
Grace Tiao, Associate Computational Biologist I
Grace is a computational biologist working on computational methods development and analysis of the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). She studied statistics and mathematics at the University of Oxford and worked for several years in the Cancer Genome Analysis group at the Broad.
Chris Vittal, Software Engineer
Chris is a Software Engineer and part of the Hail team.
Arcturus Wang, Associate Software Engineer
Arcturus is an Associate Software Engineer and a part of the Hail team.
Michael Wilson, Associate Computational Biologist I
Mike is an associate computational biologist working on the preliminary analyses of exomes and genomes to identify causal candidate genes and variants. He also manages datasets from Mendelian disease collaborators. He was previously a Senior Research Associate in the Broad Institute’s Clinical Research Sequencing Platform.
Tetyana Zayats, Researcher
Tetyana is a visiting researcher from the University of Bergen. She is interested in the genetics of complex disorders. In particular, she focuses on the phenomena beyond common variant association, such as the role of rare variants, environment, epistasis, physiological and psychological body changes as well as parent of origin effects. The main phenotype of her work is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in the research of which she has been involved for the past 3 years. Previously, she has worked on a variety of complex disorders, such as myopia, physical activity, bone density, finger length ratio and ankylosing spondylitis.
Mykyta Artomov, Research Fellow
Mykyta is a research fellow in Mark Daly’s group. His research is devoted to developing computational methods for gene networks analysis and their application to association studies specifically focused on cancer genetics. He is searching for ways of applying new methods to understand genetic factors influencing immune response (and differential survival) to cancer disorders.
Elizabeth Atkinson, Research Fellow
Elizabeth is a postdoc in the ATGU and the Broad, co-advised by Drs. Mark Daly and Ben Neale and working closely with Dr. Karestan Koenen. She did her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis followed by receiving an NIH Institutional Research and Career Development Award at Stony Brook University, in which she received structured pedagogy training, taught university classes, and examined genetic diversity of brain genes across diverse human populations. In the ATGU, Elizabeth is working on developing resources for improved study of the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric diseases in underrepresented admixed populations. In this capacity, she is part of the PGC-PTSD and NeuroGAP consortia, where she brings her population genetics background to complex psychiatric disease space.
Andrea Byrnes, Research Fellow
Andrea is a postdoctoral fellow with Benjamin Neale’s group. Her current research focuses on using data from current-era RNAsequencing experiments to better capture transcriptional activity and diversity in the human brain. The ultimate goal of these activities is to better understand the etiology of psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and autism. The current projects focus on the handling of RNA-seq data in normalization, isoform assembly, differential expression and enrichment. Andrea also works with the GTEx Consortium and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.
Caitlin Carey is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, where she is advised by Dr. Elise Robinson. Prior to joining the Broad, she earned her PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis under the direction of Dr. Ryan Bogdan, where her dissertation focused on links between polygenic risk, neural function, and behavior in externalizing psychopathology. She is interested in cross-disorder comorbidity and within-disorder heterogeneity in neuropsychiatric disorders and is currently working to characterize the contributions of rare and common genetic variation to specific phenotypes in autism spectrum disorders.
Yen-Chen (Anne) Feng, Research Fellow
Anne is a recent graduate from the program of statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and now a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Ben Neale at ATGU and Dr. Jordan Smoller from PNGU. Her doctoral research focused on developing and applying statistical methods to a range of human -omics data, including GWAS, epigenomics, and metabolomics data. She’s interested in exploring the genetic underpinnings of and across neuropsychiatric traits and will be working on a project to identify genetic variation affecting the risk of common epilepsies using sequencing data.
Laurent Francioli, Research Fellow
Laurent is a postdoctoral fellow interested in developing novel computational approaches for large-scale genomics. He is working on statistical methods for novel gene discovery in Mendelian diseases, and leading the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD).
Julia Goodrich, Research Fellow
Julia is a postdoctoral fellow in Daniel MacArthur's group. She completed her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2016 at Cornell University, examining the role of host genetics in shaping gut microbiome composition. For her postdoctoral work, she is broadly interested in developing methods to improve the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases. Currently, she is focused on detecting structural variants in rare disease cohorts.
Padhraig Gormley, Research Fellow
Padhraig is a Postdoctoral Fellow at MGH and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, advised by Prof. Aarno Palotie. His research interest is in human genetics and understanding the genetic basis of complex diseases. In particular, identifying genes that influence risk for neurological disorders, including migraine, epilepsy, and stroke. The work involves international collaborations via membership of the International Headache Genetics Consortium and the EuroEPINOMICS Consortium. He has worked previously as a Postdoctoral Fellow in human genetics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (UK) and received his PhD in Computational Biology from Queen’s University Belfast (N. Ireland) in 2010.
Alex Kotlar, Research Fellow
Alex is a postdoctoral fellow at ATGU and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, advised by Benjamin Neale and co-mentored by Cotton Seed as part of the Hail team. He recently completed his PhD in the Human Genetics department at Emory University, under the supervision of David J. Cutler and Michael E. Zwick. In the course of his doctoral research he developed an online variant annotation and analyses software service (Bystro), and improved variant annotation performance by two orders of magnitude. He's now focused on the creation of ethical genome analysis services that make genetic discovery accessible to all scientists and personalized medicine accessible to all patients.
Ruize Liu, Visiting Scholar
Robert Maier, Research Fellow
Robert is a postdoctoral fellow in Ben Neale’s lab. He completed his PhD in quantitative genetics at the University of Queensland in 2017, where he worked on the development and application of genetic risk prediction methods. His current focus is on using genetic data to better characterize correlated phenotypes.
Jessica Marden, Research Fellow
Alicia Martin, Research Fellow
Alicia is a research fellow in ATGU and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, advised by Dr. Mark Daly. Her general interests are in human population genetics, especially in leveraging demographic history to aid in disease studies. Her current projects utilize pairwise identity-by-descent (IBD) sharing to assess recent population history, associate haplotypes with psychiatric disorders, and infer the ages of disease risk haplotypes and alleles to better understand their evolutionary pressures. She obtained her PhD degree in 2015 from the Genetics Department at Stanford University (advised by Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante) for her work in genetic and regulatory variation across diverse human populations. You can find additional information on Alicia's research <ahref="http://aliciarmartin.com/">here</a>.</p>
Duncan Palmer, Research Fellow
Duncan is a postdoctoral fellow in the Neale Lab. After working viral evolution – he studied the interaction between HIV and the CTL immune response – he switched countries and genome lengths, and began working on human genetics in the spring of 2016. He is currently working on methods to estimate genetic contributions to heritability of complex traits by both extending existing methodology and developing new methods. He’s broadly interested in population genetics and selection, and the increased power gained by accounting for population stratification and learning about fundamental biological processes when performing inference.
Tarjinder Singh, Research Fellow
TJ is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mark Daly’s group. He completed his Ph.D. in 2016 at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he studied the role of rare variation in the genetic architecture of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Mentored by Dr. Daly and in close collaboration with Dr. Benjamin Neale’s group, he currently works on the meta-analyses of sequencing data in psychiatric traits, with a primary focus on the genetics of schizophrenia.
Patrick Turley, Research Fellow
Patrick is a post-doctoral fellow at ATGU and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He is advised by Dr. Benjamin Neale, researching statistical methods applied to topics in the intersection of economics and genetics. He is also a core researcher of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium and an affiliated postdoc with the Behavioral and Health Genomics Center at University of Southern California. Currently, his work focuses on analyzing genetic data to explore the relationship between traits and boost power for association.
Kumar Veerapen, Research Fellow
Kumar is a research fellow advised by Aarno Palotie, M.D., Ph.D., at the Psychiatric & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit (PNGU) and Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit (ATGU) at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harvard Medical School. His general research interests are in human genetic epidemiology, particularly in modeling and understanding complex genetic diseases. Currently, he is working on understanding familial polygenic risk of migraines in Finns. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree (First Class Honours) in Biotechnology at UCSI University, Malaysia (advised by Renee Lim Lay Hong, Ph.D.) and completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in 2016 at the University of Miami (advised by Olaf Bodamer, MD, PhD). During his undergraduate and subsequent faculty position at UCSIUniversity, his research interests included heterologous expression of recombinant proteins and candidate gene studies of myopia and obesity in Malaysian adolescents. For his Ph.D., his work focused on the genetics of preterm birth which included whole exome sequencing analysis of a Miami-Latino population, and an integrated analysis (RNA-seq and methylation) of a longitudinally ascertained birth cohort.
Raymond Walters, Research Fellow
Raymond is a post-doctoral research fellow in Dr. Bejamin Neale’s lab at ATGU and the Broad Insitute of MIT and Harvard. His research focuses on the development and application of statistical best practices for studying the genetics of psychological traits and disorders. Prior to joining the ATGU, Raymond earned his Ph.D. in Psychology in 2014 from the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Dr. Gitta Lubke. His current work includes development of a pipeline for rapid analysis of genome-wide SNP arrays in family-based data in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and assessment of novel methods for quantifying the architecture of SNP effects across the genome.
Robbee Wedow, Research Fellow
Robbee Wedow is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in ATGU, in the Department of Epidemiology in the Harvard School of Public Health, and in the Harvard Department of Sociology. Robbee is advised by Dr. Elise Robinson. His work sits at the intersection of sociology, demography, and statistical genetics, and focuses on the environmental and genetic etiologies of complex human social behaviors like educational attainment, risk-taking behavior, smoking and drinking behaviors, and sexual orientation. Robbee obtained his PhD in sociology and behavioral/statistical genetics from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was advised by Dr. Jason Boardman, Dr. Matthew Keller, and Dr. Scott Vrieze. You can find out more about Robbee’s work at robbeewedow.com. Twitter: @robbeewedow.
Wei Zhou, Research Fellow
I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT co-advised by Dr. Mark Daly and Dr. Benjamin Neale. I earned my Ph.D. in Bioinformatics under the direction of Dr. Cristen Willer and Dr. Seunggeun (Shawn) Lee. My dissertation focused on the development and application of statistical methods for large-scale genetic association studies. I'm currently working on a meta-analysis of global large-scale biobanks.
Jill Doucette, Research Administrator
Jill provides administrative support to Mark Daly, the Chief of ATGU and his lab in their administrative and research efforts as part of a growing administrative team spanning two institutions, MGH and the Broad Institute. Jill has been working in ATGU since 2010.
Carla Hammond, Staff Assistant II
Carla provides administrative support to Benjamin Neale as well as the Neale Lab in their administrative and research efforts as part of a growing administrative team spanning 2 institutions, MGH and the Broad Institute. Carla has been working in ATGU since August of 2013.
Elizabeth Raynard, Administrative and Grant Manager
Beth manages the administrative and grant activities of the Unit that span the Massachusetts General Hospital and Broad Institute. She works with various departments at both institutions for Appointments and on boarding, International Offices for visa processing, Institutional Billing Agreement execution, Grant preperation etc. She has been working at MGH since 2007.
Sumaiya Iqbal, Research Fellow
Sumaiya is a post-doctoral research associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Analytical and Translational Genetics Unit at MGH. She is advised by Mark Daly and Florence Wagner, and her research work helps bridge the genetics and therapeutics groups within the Stanley Center for Psychiatric disorder through the integration of excising computational methods and development of novel techniques to map genetic variants from sequence to tertiary structure of disease associated genes. Her research is broadly focused on genome-wide interpretation of disease-associated variants on the 3D structure to annotate structural motifs and characterize evolutionary constraint 3D sites to guide therapeutics target identification. Sumaiya received her Ph.D. in Computer Science (2017) from the University of New Orleans, LA with specialization on Bioinformatics and Machine Learning. During Ph.D., her research investigated the detection of intrinsically disordered proteins or regions in proteins using machine learning techniques. Further, she developed bioinformatics prediction methods for identifying peptide-recognition domains in protein sequence that bind with short peptide-motifs through induced folding to form transient interactions.
Dennis Lal, Research Scientist
I am a "Research Scientist" at the Stanley Center (and Group Leader at the Cologne Center for Genomics). “Why did the patient develop this disease?” “Will the patient respond to this medication?” “Can we predict the disease prognosis?” “What is the underlying mechanism?” My long-term research interests involve the development of a comprehensive understanding of how alterations in the genome contribute to brain disorders. My academic training and research experiences have provided me with an excellent background in multiple disciplines including molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics as well as a comprehensive understanding of the clinical and neurological presentation of neuropediatric disorders. Overall, the main focus of the group that I lead is the discovery, evaluation, and translation of genetic variants into clinical care. Specifically, we aim to develop computational methods which integrate large genetic, clinical, and biological data sets to improve the prediction of genetic variant effects on patient outcomes – paving the way for personalized medicine.
Eric Minikel, Graduate Student
Eric is a computational scientist interested in using large-scale exome sequencing data to inform diagnosis and therapeutic development strategy in Mendelian disease, particularly neurodegenerative disorders. He now works part-time while completing his graduate degree in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Program at Harvard.
Beryl Cummings, Graduate Student
Beryl is a graduate student from the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Program at Harvard who works on using RNA sequencing data to interpret the functional impact of human genetic variation.
Sherif Gerges, Graduate Student
Jack Kosmicki, Grad Student
Jack Kosmicki is a PhD student in the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics program at Harvard. He works jointly with Dr. Mark Daly and Dr. Dennis Wall on a number of projects ranging from examining the relationship between genetics and phenotypes in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to utilizing machine learning algorithms to develop shorter ASD diagnostic tests.
Qingbo is a member of the MacArthur lab, interested in the intersection of large population data and single cell genomics. He completed his undergrad in the University of Tokyo, Japan, and is now in the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics PhD program at Harvard.
Sidi Zhang, Grad Student
Sidi is a graduate student in Daly lab. She was born and grew up in Beijing, and did her undergrad at University of Chicago. Her academic interests include population genetics, non-coding regions and psychiatric diseases. She also enjoy Japanese culture, video games, yoga, pets and food.