Graduate Student Directory
UPGG Graduate Student
320B LSRC B
Box 91009 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Research Interest: Genetics and pharmacogenetics of cognitive performance.
I am interested in genetics and pharmacogenetics of cognitive performance. Our
lab is recruiting a large sample of healthy volunteers to take a battery of
cognitive tests that represent diverse areas of cognitive ability such as
verbal fluency, working memory and processing speed. Each subject is genotyped
using the Illumina Humanhap550 chip, and then whole-genome association analysis
is performed on both single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variants.
We hope to use this method to identify genes that influence normal cognitive
processes in healthy volunteers. I am also interested in cognitive response to
the antiepileptic drug topiramate. This drug causes decreased performance in
specific cognitive areas in some patients. This is interesting because most
antiepileptic drugs that cause cognitive impairment cause a generalized
slowing, not specific effects as with topiramate. It is also interesting
because not all patients have this reaction to topiramate. I will therefore
also be studying both patients, who are taking topiramate, and healthy volunteers,
who are willing to take topiramate, to try to understand the genetic influences
of cognitive response to topiramate. The combination of these two projects
should provide very specific information about which genes affect which aspects of cognition.
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