Human complex traits result from genetic and environmental factors, and from their interactions. Many of these effects are mediated by changes in gene regulation. Indeed, most genetic variants associated with complex trait variation in humans are in regulatory regions. I will present some of our recent studies on gene-environment interactions in gene regulation, with a specific focus on cardiovascular health. I will present evidence that gene-environment interactions in molecular phenotypes are frequent, account for a substantial portion of complex trait variation and modify genetic risk for disease.
My lab is interested in understanding the genetic and molecular basis of inter-individual and inter-population differences in complex phenotypes. We combine evolutionary and functional genomics approaches to study intermediate phenotypes (transcription factor binding, gene expression, protein secretion, etc.) and how they are affected by gene-environment interactions. Our research is funded by the NIH.