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Our lab is focused on understanding the role of genetic variation on disease outcomes. We employ quantitative and functional tools, in a variety of model organisms, to study how genetic variation impacts basic cellular traits important to human health. Our work in model organisms will help to model and to inform studies of genetic variation observed in the human population. We hope to identify variation in the human population that can lead to more precise, personalized therapies.
Genetic variation is a powerful, unbiased tool to uncover novel aspects of gene networks. We are using natural variation to understand how endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress varies among individuals in a population and what this means for disease variability. To do this, we are using the mouse Collaborative Cross to uncover the genetic architecture underlying this important cellular response. We are also utilizing Drosophila, mouse, and cell culture studies to understand the function of genes that contribute to variability in the ER stress response. Finally, we are taking advantage of natural genetic variation to identify novel modifiers of Mendelian diseases.
Chow Lab Webpage: www.chowlab.org