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Tasha Fingerlin, Ph.D.

Association studies of complex disorders; type 2 diabetes mellitus


My research interests lie in the study of the genetic determinants of human disease, primarily in mapping and identifying genetic variants that predispose to complex diseases. I have a particular interest in the genetic epidemiology of type 2 diabetes, and am a co-investigator on two NIH-funded grants. The IRAS Family Study: Genetics of Insulin Resistance is a large, multicenter genetics study, the goal of which is to identify genetic variants that contribute to insulin resistance and adiposity. The GENI Study (Jill Norris, P.I.) is an investigation of gene-environment interactions that contribute to susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in a Hispanic population. Both of these studies have collected large families which can be useful for a wide variety of analytic techniques. In addition to my work in type 2 diabetes, I am involved in the study design and statistical analyses of data collected to examine the genetic determinants of beryllium disease with Lee Newman and Lisa Maier at National Jewish. In addition, I work with Drs. Freedman and Leonard on some of the fine-mapping projects in their studies of the genetic determinants of schizophrenia.
My methodological work is in statistical methods for mapping disease-predisposing variants, particularly in the context of positional (candidate) cloning. My current work in this area includes using allele-sharing information to select cases for association studies to improve the power and genotyping efficiency of such studies. I am working to extend these methods from qualitative traits in affected sibships to more general pedigrees and regions of quantitative trait linkage.

Selected publications:

Fingerlin TE, Engelman CD, Barmada MM, Moss LK, Durfee MJ, Ferrell RE, Norris JM. Variant in the HNF4A gene associated with type 2 diabetes in Hispanic Americans from Colorado: the GENI study. submitted

Silander S, Mohlke KL, Scott LJ, Peck EC, Hollstein P, Skol AD, Jackson AU, Deloukas P, Hunt S, Stavrides G, Chines PS, Erdos MR, Narisu N, Conneely KN, Li C, Fingerlin TE, Dhanjal SK, Valle TT, Bergman RN, Tuomilehto J, Watanabe RM, Boehnke M, and Collins FS (2004) Genetic variation near the Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor-4 Alpha gene predicts susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 53: 1141-1149.

Fingerlin TE, Boehnke M, Abecasis GR (2004) Increasing the power and efficiency of genetic association studies through use of allele-sharing information. Am J Hum Genet 74:432-443.

Mohlke KL, Erdos MR, Scott LJ, Fingerlin TE, Jackson AU, Silander K, Hollstein P, Boehnke M, Collins FS (2002) High-throughput screening for evidence of association by using mass spectrometry genotyping on DNA pools. PNAS 99:16928-16933.

Fingerlin TE, Erdos MR, Watanabe RM, Wiles KR, Stringham HM, Mohlke KL, Silander K, Valle TT, Buchanan TA, Tuomilehto J, Bergman RN, Boehnke M, and Collins FS. (2002) Variation in three single nucleotide polymorphisms in the calpain-10 gene not associated with type 2 diabetes in a large Finnish cohort. Diabetes 51: 1644-8.