Charles Farber named Associate Director of CPHG

Charles FarberCongratulations goes out to Charles Farber! With approval from the Dean, Charles was recently appointed Associate Director of the Center for Public Health Genomics. In addition to leading the Farber Lab, Charles will now be assuming a leadership role within the Center taking on new administrative duties.



Chongzhi Zang joins the Center

Chongzhi_ZangThe Center welcomes its newest faculty member Chongzhi Zang, PhD, who joined UVa this fall as Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. Dr. Zang earned his PhD in Physics at The George Washington University. The Zang Lab focuses on developing computational methodologies and integrative genomics approaches to study epigenetics and transcriptional regulation of gene expression in a variety of mammalian cell systems and human diseases such as cancer.



Graham Casey joins CPHG

caseyDr. Graham Casey has recently joined the Center as Professor of Public Health Sciences, bringing his expertise in the genomic analysis of colorectal cancer risk to UVA. The Casey Lab focuses on unravelling the complex genetic mechanisms underlying risk of colorectal cancer. Prior to joining CPHG, Dr. Casey was at the Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Cancer Biology, and then at the Keck School of Medicine, USC. Dr. Casey received his B.S. in Genetics and Cell Biology from Manchester University, England and earned his doctorate degree in Human Cytogenetics from University College, London, England.


CPHG welcomes new faculty member Nathan Sheffield

Sheffield_300The Center welcomes new faculty member Nathan Sheffield, PhD, who joined UVa this summer as Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Molecular Medicine, Austrian Academy of Sciences, in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Sheffield earned his PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Duke University. His current projects primarily focus on epigenomics and gene regulation in cancer and in differentiation. See the Sheffield Lab website for information about his research interests.



Mete Civelek joins the Center

portrait_civelek.mete_2015-09_webMete Civelek, PhD joined UVa this summer as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and the newest resident faculty member of the Center. He was previously at the University of California, Los Angeles where he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jake Lusis.

Dr. Civelek’s research seeks to understand how the genetic factors associated with metabolic syndrome traits and atherosclerosis perturb molecular pathways to increase susceptibility to disease. He applies a systems genetics approach using a range of experimental and computational methods to quantitate and integrate intermediate phenotypes in human and mouse populations. He plans to collaborate with other research groups in an effort to tackle significant problems in cardiovascular pathology, with the expectation that the knowledge gained will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the genetic architecture of these diseases and new avenues for therapeutic development.


McConnell to use cutting-edge sequencing technique to research causes of schizophrenia

Assistant Professor Mike McConnell of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and affiliate faculty member of the Center, will be working as part of a research team whose aim is to identify the genetic causes of schizophrenia. While some of his collaborators from other institutions will use bulk sequencing, Dr. McConnell will use single-cell genome sequencing to examine samples of donated brains from two groups – people who had schizophrenia and a control group who did not. This research, which was reported in the May 6th issue of UVa Today, is funded with a five-year grant by the National Institute of Mental Health.


Kucenas receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Sarah Kucenas, Assistant Professor of Biology, and an affiliate faculty member of the Center, has been recognized with the state’s highest honor given to professors. Nominated by their peers, the awardees are selected by a committee made up of members of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and other business and community leaders. Dr. Kucenas, known internationally for her research, is also dedicated to teaching and service, encouraging her undergraduate students to participate in actual research in her lab, an opportunity that is more often seen for graduate level students.


Wladek Minor publication among top 100 papers of all time

In a recent article in Nature, a paper by Dr. Wladek Minor, an affiliate faculty member of the Center, was identified as one of the 100 most highly cited papers of all time. Published in 1997, “Processing of X-ray Diffraction Data Collected in Oscillation Mode” is ranked 23rd among papers of all time and is described by Philip Bourne, associate director for data science at the National Institutes of Health, as one of the “bricks and mortar” tools for determining crystal structures. Dr. Minor is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.


Farber Wins Dean’s Excellence Award

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Charles Farber of CPHG! Dr. Farber received the School of Medicine Dean’s Excellence in Faculty Research Award for 2014.











Poretools introduced by Quinlan Lab

The Quinlan Lab just published a paper describing the first set of bioinformatics tools to work with nanopore DNA sequencing technologies. Poretools: a toolkit for analyzing nanopore sequence data was published in Bioinformatics online August 20, 2014.