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Laura Raffield, PhD

Assistant Professor, Genetics 

Research Interests

Keywords: genetic epidemiology, human genetics, genome-wide association studies, precision medicine, multi-omics, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, hematological traits

In my research program, I use human genomics and multi-omics to understand inherited and environmental risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases and related quantitative traits. I work to link genetic variants to function through integration with multi-omics data, including transcriptomic, methylation, proteomic, and metabolomic measures.  This work has important implications for cardiometabolic risk prediction across diverse populations and improved understanding of disease biology. A focus on understudied African American and Hispanic/Latino populations is a central theme of my research; human genetics research is dramatically unrepresentative of global populations, with ~95% of genome-wide association study participants of European or East Asian ancestry. As complex trait genetics moves into the clinic, increasing diversity is essential to ensure that all populations benefit from the promise of precision medicine.

I play a leadership role in collaborative efforts in human genetics, for example serving as a Genetics Working Group co-chair for the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), one of the largest population based studies of African Americans, and an Inflammation/Hematology working group co-chair for the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) consortium. I am also a co-convener of the Multi-Omics working group for the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program.

Mentor Training:

  • Bias 101
  • Safe Zone
  • Unconscious Bias

Publications

Laura Raffield in UNC Genetics News

Laura Raffield, PhD