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Li_Raffield_Mohlke_SpracklenDrs. Yun Li, Laura Raffield, Cassandra Spracklen and Karen Mohlke are co-authors on two manuscripts in the 3 Sep 2020 issue of Cell.

“Trans-ethnic and Ancestry-Specific Blood-Cell Genetics in 746,667 Individuals from 5 Global Populations” (Dr. Laura Raffield, Assistant Professor, Genetics, is co-first author) describes the study which assessed 15 blood cell traits in almost three-quarters of a million participants from European, East Asian, African, Hispanic/Latino and South Asian backgrounds.  The study identified more than 5,500 associations, including ~100 associations not found in Europeans, demonstrating that blood cell traits differ by ancestry and are subject to selective pressure.

In the companion paper, “The Polygenic and Monogenic Basis of Blood Traits and Diseases”, the largest GWAS of blood cell traits to date, the authors provide functional insights into how genetic variants impact human hematopoiesis, assess the effect of polygenic trait scores on blood diseases and provide empiric assessments of omnigenic and infinitesimal models of polygenic variation.

Yun Li, PhD (Associate Professor), Laura Raffield, PhD (Assistant Professor) and Karen Mohlke, PhD (Professor) are in the UNC Department of Genetics.  Cassandra Spracklen, PhD was a postdoc in Genetics at UNC and is now an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at University of Massachusetts Amherst.