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Lea Davis

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine


Research Interests: In the Davis Lab, we are interested in the genomics of a wide range of complex phenotypes. For most complex traits, much of the genetic liability is distributed throughout the genome and therefore each individual single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) explains a very small proportion of the phenotypic variance (i.e., heritability) observed through traditional twin and family-based methods. While the contribution of each individual variant is small, for many complex or “polygenic” traits, the cumulative the effect of these contributory common SNPs is substantial. Additionally, complex traits are also influenced by rare genetic variants, and environmental factors. Our research aims to understand how polygenic risk, rare variant risk, and environment interact to result in complex traits. We study a wide range of traits including psychiatric and endocrine phenotypes and are particularly interested in understanding the genetics underlying the richness of neurodiversity in human populations.

Keywords: Human genetics, human genomics, polygenic inheritance, statistical genomics