Former Lab Members

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Thutrang Nguyen

2008-current
Lab Manager, Director of SNP Genotyping Core Facility

 


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Thutrang was the lab manager of the Hirschhorn lab and coordinated the SNP Genotyping Facility at Boston Children's Hospital. She joined the lab from 2008-2012, after graduating from Wellesley college with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology. Her projects include assessing common variation for association with obesity in African-derived populations and attempting to find a novel genetic cause for infantile hypercalcemia. Outside of lab Thutrang enjoys cooking and video and board games.

  • Hassanein MT, Lyon HN, Nguyen TT, Akylbekova EL, Waters K, Lettre G, Tayo B, Forrester T, Sarpong DF, Stram DO, Butler JL, Wilks R, Liu J, Le Marchand L, Kolonel LN, Zhu X, Henderson B, Cooper R, McKenzie C, Taylor HA, Haiman CA, Hirschhorn JN. Fine mapping of the association with obesity at the FTO locus in African-derived populations. Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Jul 15; 19(14): 2907-16.
  • Kang SJ*, Chiang CWK*, Palmer CD*, Tayo BO, Lettre G, Butler JL, Hackett R, Adeyemo AA, Guiducci C, berzins I, Nguyen TT, Feng T, Luke A, Shriner D, Ardlie K, Rotimi C, Wilks R, Forrester T, McKenzie CA, Lyon HN, Cooper RS, Zhu X#, Hirschhorn JN#. Genome wide association of anthropometric traits in African and African derived populations. Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Jul 1;19(13):2725-38. Epub 2010 Apr 16.
  • Chiang CWK, Gajdos ZKZ, Korn JM, Kuruvilla FG, Butler JL, Hackett R, Guiducci C, Nguyen TT, Wilks R, Forrester T, Haiman CA, Henderson KD, Le Marchand L, Henderson BE, Palmert MR, McKenzie CA, Lyon HN, Cooper RS, Zhu X, Hirschhorn JN. Rapid assessment of genetic ancestry inpopulatiosn of unknown origin by genome-wide genotyping of pooled samples. PLoS Genetics. 2010;6(3):e1000866. Epub 2010 Mar 5.

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Michael Turchin

Research Assistant

 

 


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Michael Turchin graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in the spring of 2009 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Animal Science. He worked in the lab of Dr. Charles Aquadro doing molecular population genetics of Drosophila melanogaster. He is currently working as a research assistant in the Hirschhorn lab, acting as both a programmer/analyst, and as a bench work assistant for the Hirschhorn SNP genotyping core and in-house projects. His projects include looking for evidence of natural selection on height in populations of European ancestry, and looking for associations between common CNVs and height. Michael has also worked on the development of a software program called gEncrypt, a program that aims to allow PIs to securely compare individual-level genetic data from between studies and institutions without infringing on patient consent form agreements and IRB criterion. Michael is currently applying to graduate schools for the fall of 2011, and hopes to be pursuing a PhD in statistical and/or population genetics. His hobbies include running, traveling, and watching TV.

  • Hana Lango Allen, Karol Estrada, Guillaume Lettre, Sonja I. Berndt, Michael N. Weedon et al. 2010. Hundreds of variants clustered in genomic loci and biological pathways affect human height. Nature. 467, 832-838.
  • Wong, A.W., Turchin, M.C., Wolfner, M.F. and Aquadro, C.F. 2008. Evidence for positive selection on Drosophila melanogaster seminal fluid protease homologs. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 25(3):497-506.

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Charleston W.K. Chiang, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

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Charleston Chiang is a recent graduate of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Program at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Hirschhorn lab in March 2007 and defended in September 2010. Charleston graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 with a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and minors in Mathematics and Statistics. Charleston is also a fellow in the Leder Medical Science Program and a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Charleston is currently working with Sophie to analyze whole-exome data on a Finnish population to identify variants associated with obesity, as well as studying the phenotypic and fitness consequence due to sequence variation within highly conserved genomic regions.

  • Chiang CWK, Gajdos ZKZ, Korn JM, Butler JL, Hackett R, Guiducci C, Nguyen T, Wilks R, Forrester T, Henderson KD, Le Marchand L, Henderson BE, Haiman CA, Cooper RS, Lyon HN, Zhu X, McKenzie CA, Palmert MR, Hirschhorn JN. The efficacy of detecting variants with small effects on the Affymetrix 6.0 platform using pooled DNA. Submitted
  • Kang SJ*, Chiang CWK*, Palmer CD*, Tayo BO, Lettre G, Butler JL, Hackett R, Adeyemo AA, Guiducci C, berzins I, Nguyen TT, Feng T, Luke A, Shriner D, Ardlie K, Rotimi C, Wilks R, Forrester T, McKenzie CA, Lyon HN, Cooper RS, Zhu X#, Hirschhorn JN#. Genome wide association of anthropometric traits in African and African derived populations. Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Jul 1;19(13):2725-38. Epub 2010 Apr 16.
  • Chiang CWK, Gajdos ZKZ, Korn JM, Kuruvilla FG, Butler JL, Hackett R, Guiducci C, Nguyen TT, Wilks R, Forrester T, Haiman CA, Henderson KD, Le Marchand L, Henderson BE, Palmert MR, McKenzie CA, Lyon HN, Cooper RS, Zhu X, Hirschhorn JN. Rapid assessment of genetic ancestry inpopulatiosn of unknown origin by genome-wide genotyping of pooled samples. PLoS Genetics. 2010;6(3):e1000866. Epub 2010 Mar 5.
  • Chiang CWK*, Derti A*, Schwartz D, Chou MF, Hirschhorn JN, Wu CT. Ultraconserved elements: Analyses of dosage sensitivity, motifs, and boundaries. Genetics. 2008 Dec;180(4):2277-93. Epub 2008 Oct 28.
  • Keating BJ, Tischfield S, et al. Concept, Design and Implementation of a Cardiovascular Gene-centric 50K SNP Array for Large-scale Genomic Association Studies. PLoS ONE. 2008;3(10):e3583. Epub 2008 Oct 31.
  • Dewing P, Chiang CWK, Sinchak K, Sim H, Fernagut PO, Kelly S, Chesselet MF, Micevych PE, Albrecht KH, Harley VR, Vilain E. Direct regulation of adult brain function by the male-specific factor SRY. Curr Biol. 2006 Feb 21;16(4):415-20.

Charleston's Personal Site

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Helen N. Lyon, MD SM

 

 

 

 

 

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Helen was a clinician and post-doctoral fellow in the Hirschhorn Laboratory. She was a pediatrician and clinical geneticist at Boston Children's Hospital, and the Medical Director of Clinical Genetics at the BIDMC Department of Obstetrics. She has training in genetic epidemiology. Her research interests included the genetics of common diseases that affect children. Her current work included asthma and obesity genetic association studies in pediatric and adult cohorts. She was an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She was a member of the Medical and Population Genetics group at the Broad Institute.

Additional Information on Helen

Boston Children's Hospital Specialist Page

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Guillaume Lettre

 

 

 

 

 

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Guillaume Lettre, a former postdoctoral fellow in the lab, is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute.

Guillaume Lettre at MHI

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Mikko Kuokkanen

 

 

 

 

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Mikko was a Finnish postdoctoral fellow, working to identify common and rare DNA variants for blood lipid levels and obesity. He joined the lab in 2007.

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Elizabeth Speliotes

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Liz was a post doctoral fellow in the lab and graduated from Yale with and BS/MS in biology and did an MD/PhD(genetics) at Harvard/MIT followed by clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital where she was an Instructor in Gastroenterology. She also completed an MPH in 2008 at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is worked on various projects in the lab related to obesity and obesity related traits including fatty liver disease.

Contact Elizabeth

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Zofia Gajdos

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Zofia Gajdos was a graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow in the Hirschhorn lab from June 2006-August 2010. She graduated from the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) program at Harvard with a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2009. Zofia graduated from MIT in 2001 with an S.B. in Biology and a minor in Biomedical Engineering and was elected to MIT's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In the Hirschhorn lab, she studied the genetics of the timing of puberty and of asthma. She also worked with Charleston on the analysis of genome-wide data obtained from pooled DNA samples. Zofia moved to the Washington, D.C. in September 2010 are to join the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Program and is working at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Outside of lab, Zofia sings, hikes, skis, and rock climbs. Contact her at zofia@broadinstitute.org

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Johannah Butler (2002-2008)

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Johannah was the lab manager of the Hirschhorn lab and coordinated the SNP Genotyping Facility at Boston Children's Hospital. She joined the lab in 2002 after graduating from Boston University with a B.A. in Biology. Her projects included analyzing ancestry in European populations and assessing common variation for association with height, obesity, and asthma. She also ran collaborative efforts to obtain DNA samples necessary to conduct research in the lab. Outside of lab Johannah enjoyed biking, skiing, climbing, and cooking.

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Haya Al-Saud MSc (Jan 2008 - Aug 2008)

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Visiting researcher from: Saudi Diagnostic Laboratory, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. She has experience in performing association studies using Real-Time PCR genotyping and Pyrosequencing assays for polygenic disorders like Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). She also carries out molecular genetics studies to detect mutations in different diseases like Syndromic Deafness, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID), and Factor V. At Joel's lab she is looking at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in large, well-characterized patient samples to test for an association with obesity.

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Sam Tischfield (2006-2008)

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Sam joined the Hirshhorn lab in the summer of 2006 as a lab informaticist and technician after graduating from Rutgers College with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Genetics. Some of his projects included the creation of the 50k IBC Snp Array, identification of HIV susceptability variants, fine mapping of the Lactase region, and creation of numerous bioinformatics tools. He is currently a Ph.D candidate in Computational Biology at Cornell.

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Katie Campbell (2003-2007)

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Catarina (Katie) Campbell joined the lab in 2003 as a student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) program at Harvard Medical School. Katie graduated cum laude from UCLA in 2001 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. During her time in the lab, Katie worked on several projects including analyzing population stratification in European-derived populations, candidate gene studies of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and the genetics of allele-specific gene expression in mice. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2007 with her dissertation work entitled, "Implications of population structure and regulatory variation on genetic association studies." After leaving the lab, she worked as a Group Leader in the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery (CCGD) at Dana Farber Cancer Institute before starting a post-doc with Evan Eichler at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Christopher Newton-Cheh

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Chris completed a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT under Joel N. Hirschhorn, MD, PhD and at the Framingham Heart Study under Christopher J. O'Donnell, MD, MPH, studying the genetic determinants of common cardiovascular diseases.

More about Chris:

Cardiovascular Research Center
Mass. General Hospital
Broad

Harvard Research Page

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Jared Drake (2001-2006)

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Jared joined the lab in 2001 after graduating from Williams College with B.A.s in Biology and Political Science. Jared was a hired as a bioinformatician and developed the bioinformatics infrastructure necessary for the research performed in the Hirschhorn lab. He also led collaborative projects looking for evidence of selective pressure in conserved noncoding regions (CNCs) of the human genome and the efficiency of haplotype tagging SNPs. Jared is currently pursuing a joint MBA/MPH at UC Berkeley.

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Todd Bersaglieri

James Nemesh

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