School or College:
Research Proposal Title:
The overarching theme of Dr. Cassandra Spracklen’s research is to discover how genetic variants influence cardiometabolic traits and the mechanisms through which they act. Genetic studies have recently identified many DNA regions that affect whether an individual has inherited a high risk for cardiometabolic traits, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. However, most of these findings are not yet being used to identify new drugs to treat or prevent disease because, within most of these DNA regions, the specific DNA variants and genes that influence disease risk have not yet been identified. The goal of Dr. Spracklen’s research is to combine epidemiologic, genetic, and bioinformatic methodologies to tease apart results from genome-wide association studies and identify which DNA variant(s) are ultimately responsible for a given cardiometabolic trait. I also have strong research interests in of reproductive and perinatal epidemiology, particularly regarding fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes, as well as life course epidemiology.