Cassandra N. Spracklen

UMass Amherst Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Cassandra Spracklen

Education: 

B.A., Anderson University (2009); M.S., University of Iowa (2011); Ph.D., University of Iowa (2014); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014-2019)

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Genetic epidemiology; genetics of cardiometabolic traits; reproductive and perinatal epidemiology; life course epidemiology

Research Description: 

The overarching theme of my 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 my 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. 

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

Spracklen CN, Karaderi T, Yaghootkar H, Schurmann C, Fine RS, Kutalik Z, Preuss MH, Lu Y, Wittemans LBL, Adair LS, Allison M, Amin N, Auer PL, Bartz TM, Blüher M, Boehnke M, Borja JB, Bork-Jensen J, Broer L, Chasman DI, Chen YI, Chirstofidou P, Demirkan A, van Duijn CM, Feitosa MF, Garcia ME, Graff M, Grallert H, Grarup N, Guo X, Haesser J, Hansen T, Harris TB, Highland HM, Hong J, Ikram MA, Ingelsson E, Jackson R, Jousilahti P, Kähönen M, Kizer JR, Kovacs P, Kriebel J, Laakso M, Lange LA, Lehtimäki T, Li J, Li-Gao R, Lind L, Luan J, Lyytikäinen LP, MacGregor S, Mackey DA, Mahajan A, Mangino M, Männistö S, McCarthy MI, McKnight B, Medina-Gomez C, Meigs JB, Molnos S, Mook-Kanamori D, Morris AP, de Mutsert R, Nalls MA, Nedeljkovic I, North KE, Pennell CE, Pradhan AD, Province MA, Raitakari OT, Raulerson CK, Reiner AP, Ridker PM, Ripatti S, Roberston N, Rotter JI, Salomaa V, Sandoval-Zárate AA, Sitlani CM, Spector TD, Strauch K, Stumvoll M, Taylor KD, Thuesen B, Tönjes A, Uitterlinden AG, Venturini C, Walker M, Wang CA, Wang S, Wareham NJ, Willems SM, Willems van Dijk K, Wilson JG, Wu Y, Yao J, Young KL, Langenberg C, Frayling TM, Kilpeläinen TO, Lindgren CM, Loos RJF, Mohlke KL. Exome-Derived Adiponectin-Associated Variants Implicate Obesity and Lipid Biology. Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Jul 3;105(1):15-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.002. Epub 2019 Jun 6. PubMed PMID: 31178129; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6612516.

Spracklen CN, Shi J, Vadlamudi S, Wu Y, Zou M, Raulerson CK, Davis JP, Zeynalzadeh M, Jackson K, Yuan W, Wang H, Shou W, Wang Y, Luo J, Lange LA, Lange EM, Popkin BM, Gordon-Larsen P, Du S, Huang W, Mohlke KL. Identification and functional analysis of glycemic trait loci in the China Health and Nutrition Survey. PLoS Genet.2018 Apr;14(4):e1007275. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007275. eCollection 2018 Apr. PubMed PMID: 29621232; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5886383.

Spracklen CN, Chen P, Kim YJ, Wang X, Cai H, Li S, Long J, Wu Y, Wang YX, Takeuchi F, Wu JY, Jung KJ, Hu C, Akiyama K, Zhang Y, Moon S, Johnson TA, Li H, Dorajoo R, He M, Cannon ME, Roman TS, Salfati E, Lin KH, Guo X, Sheu WHH, Absher D, Adair LS, Assimes TL, Aung T, Cai Q, Chang LC, Chen CH, Chien LH, Chuang LM, Chuang SC, Du S, Fan Q, Fann CSJ, Feranil AB, Friedlander Y, Gordon-Larsen P, Gu D, Gui L, Guo Z, Heng CK, Hixson J, Hou X, Hsiung CA, Hu Y, Hwang MY, Hwu CM, Isono M, Juang JJ, Khor CC, Kim YK, Koh WP, Kubo M, Lee IT, Lee SJ, Lee WJ, Liang KW, Lim B, Lim SH, Liu J, Nabika T, Pan WH, Peng H, Quertermous T, Sabanayagam C, Sandow K, Shi J, Sun L, Tan PC, Tan SP, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Toh SA, Tsunoda T, van Dam RM, Wang A, Wang F, Wang J, Wei WB, Xiang YB, Yao J, Yuan JM, Zhang R, Zhao W, Chen YI, Rich SS, Rotter JI, Wang TD, Wu T, Lin X, Han BG, Tanaka T, Cho YS, Katsuya T, Jia W, Jee SH, Chen YT, Kato N, Jonas JB, Cheng CY, Shu XO, He J, Zheng W, Wong TY, Huang W, Kim BJ, Tai ES, Mohlke KL, Sim X. Association analyses of East Asian individuals and trans-ancestry analyses with European individuals reveal new loci associated with cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 May 1;26(9):1770-1784. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx062. PubMed PMID: 28334899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6075203.

Spracklen CN, Saftlas AF, Triche EW, Bjonnes A, Keating B, Saxena R, Breheny PJ, Dewan AT, Robinson JG, Hoh J, Ryckman KK. Genetic Predisposition to Dyslipidemia and Risk of Preeclampsia. Am J Hypertens. 2015 Jul;28(7):915-23. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu242. Epub 2014 Dec 17. PubMed PMID: 25523295; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4542907.

Spracklen CN, Smith CJ, Saftlas AF, Robinson JG, Ryckman KK. Maternal hyperlipidemia and the risk of preeclampsia: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Aug 15;180(4):346-58. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu145. Epub 2014 Jul 2. PubMed PMID: 24989239; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4565654.