Spatial & Functional
Genomics Affinity Group

People

Principal Investigators

Struan F.A. Grant, Ph.D.

Dr. Grant is the Daniel B. Burke Chair for Diabetes Research and Co-Director of the Center for Spatial and Functional Genomics at the CHOP Research Institute. He has been on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School since July 2007, becoming a tenured Associate Professor in 2013. Dr. Grant is the PI or a co-investigator on multiple NIH-funded genome wide association studies of adult and pediatric disorders. The highlights of his career are the discovery of the polymorphic Sp1 site in the COL1A1 gene and its association with osteoporosis, the identification of variation in the TCF7L2 gene playing a key role in conferring type 2 diabetes risk and providing leadership in an international genetics effort to characterize genes influencing birth weight and common childhood obesity risk. Utilizing high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies, combined with statistical and bioinformatic approaches, his goals include unraveling genomic puzzles related to childhood disease. Many of these phenotypes are known to be strongly determined by genetic factors; however, resolving genomic contributors to such complex phenotypes in adults has been impeded by interaction with strong environmental factors. Distillation of the genomic architecture in these complex traits should be easier to determine in children, where the relatively short period of their lifetime limits the impact of environmental exposure.

CHOP Profile

Upenn Profile

Andrew D. Wells, Ph.D.

Dr. Andrew D. Wells is a tenured Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Program Leader for the Penn Institute for Immunology, and co-director of the Center for Spatial and Functional Genomics at the CHOP Research Institute who has brought in over $20 million in extramural research funding. His laboratory studies genetic, epigenetic, and transcriptional mechanisms that the immune system uses to decode extracellular signals and translate these into the appropriate immune vs. tolerant responses. The Wells laboratory has over a 15 years of experience in cellular immunology, cell biology, and molecular biology research, including mouse models, in vivo and in vitro human and mouse lymphocyte function, biochemistry, transcriptional biology and epigenetics. The laboratory has incorporated approaches such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, 4C-seq, Capture-C, and now SPATIaL-seq to study genome-wide transcription factor occupancy, histone modification, and long-range interactions between enhancers and promoters. Using these approaches, the Wells laboratory has recently identified novel, distal regulatory elements controlling expression of the IL2 gene that contain human disease-associated polymorphisms.

CHOP Profile

UPenn Profile

Staff

Alessandra Chesi, Ph.D.

BIOINFORMATICS SPECIALIST II

CHESIA@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Diana L. Cousminer, Ph.D.

RESEARCH POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

COUSMINERD@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Margot D. Field, B.A.

RESEARCH TECHNICIAN I

FIELDMD@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Kenyaita M. Hodge, B.S., M.P.H.

RESEARCH ASSISTANT I

HODGEK@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Matthew E. Johnson, Ph.D.

RESEARCH LABORATORY DIRECTOR

JOHNSONM11@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Michelle E. Leonard, B.A.

RESEARCH TECHNICIAN IV

LEONARDME@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Sumei Lu, B.S.

RESEARCH ASSISTANT II

LUS1@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Elisabetta Manduchi, Ph.D.

BIOINFORMATICS SCIENTIST

MANDUCHIE@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Website

Rajashree Mishra, B.S.

GRADUATE STUDENT

MISHRAR2@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

James A. Pippin, B.A.

RESEARCH LABORATORY MANAGER

PIPPINJ@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Prabhat K. Sharma, Ph.D.

RESEARCH POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

SHARMAPK@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Chun Su, Ph.D.

BIOINFORMATICS SCIENTIST I

SUC1@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Rajan M. Thomas, M.S., Ph.D.

RESEARCH SCIENTIST I

THOMASRA@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Annabel Torres, Ph.D.

RESEARCH POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW

TORRESA1@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU