Faculty - Assistant Professor
- Faculty - Assistant Professor
Molecular & Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
- T621 (Lab)
Taub Research Building, room 621
1 Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030
Professional StatementLearn more about our group on our lab website: https://www.bcm.edu/research/faculty-labs/elizabeth-atkinson-lab
The primary goal of my lab is to reduce the disparity in genomics research across ancestries. We accomplish this goal by leveraging global genomic datasets and cutting-edge computational techniques to build and apply resources for the improved statistical genetic study of diverse human populations that genomics has so far underserved. Our work is centered around neuropsychiatric traits with particular focus on admixed American populations and groups of African descent, though many of the tools we build are broadly applicable across phenotypes and populations, giving them the potential for widespread impact on human health.
A necessary precursor to accounting for global diversity in genomics research is a thorough understanding of population history and evolution, which shapes the naturally occurring patterns of genetic variation. Therefore, a second line of inquiry my research group explores is characterizing key aspects of human evolution with ancestrally-tuned evolutionary statistics using global DNA collections. Elucidating the forces shaping the genetic variation of key (brain) genes in modern populations is not only of significant academic interest, but is vital for determining the appropriate methods for statistical and medical genomic analyses of diverse datasets.
We are in the leadership of multiple international consortia, including the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PTSD working group), Neuropsychiatric Genetics in African Populations (NeuroGAP) and the Latin American Genomics Consortium (LAGC), affording trainees access to a wealth of diverse genetic datasets containing a wide range of phenotypes for potential study.
- Atkinson EG, Maihofer AX, Kanai M, Martin AR, Karczewski KJ, Santoro ML, et al. "Tractor uses local ancestry to enable the inclusion of admixed individuals in GWAS and to boost power.." Nature Genetics. 2021 Jan 18;53:195–204.
- Caroline M Nievergelt, Adam X Maihofer, Torsten Klengel, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Chia-Yen Chen, et al. "International meta-analysis of PTSD genome-wide association studies identifies sex-and ancestry-specific genetic risk loci." Nature Communications. 2019 Oct 8;10:1-16.
- Elizabeth Grace Atkinson, Amanda Jane Audesse, Julia Adela Palacios, Dean Michael Bobo, Ashley Elizabeth Webb, Sohini Ramachandran, Brenna Mariah Henn "No evidence for recent selection at FOXP2 among diverse human populations." Cell. 2018 Sep 6:1424-1435.
- Alicia R Martin, Meng Lin, Julie M Granka, Justin W Myrick, Xiaomin Liu, Alexandra Sockell, Elizabeth G Atkinson,..., Mark J Daly, Marcus W Feldman, Christopher R Gignoux, Carlos D Bustamante, Brenna M Henn "An unexpectedly complex architecture for skin pigmentation in Africans." Cell. 2017 Nov 30;171(6):1340-1353.
- Lauren Alpert Sugden, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Annie P Fischer, Stephen Rong, Brenna M Henn, Sohini Ramachandran "Localization of adaptive variants in human genomes using averaged one-dependence estimation Authors." Nature Communications. 2018 Feb 19;9(1):1-14.
- Shyamalika Gopalan, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Laura T Buck, Timothy D Weaver, Brenna M Henn "Inferring archaic introgression from hominin genetic data." Evolutionary Anthropology. 2021 May 5
- Marta Guindo-Martínez, Ramon Amela, Silvia Bonàs-Guarch, Montserrat Puiggròs, Cecilia Salvoro, Irene Miguel-Escalada, Caitlin E Carey, Joanne B Cole, Sina Rüeger, Elizabeth Atkinson,...,Jose C Florez, Rosa M Badia, Josep M Mercader, David Torrents "The impact of non-additive genetic associations on age-related complex diseases." Nature Commuications. 2021 Apr 23;12(1):1-14.
- Alicia R Martin, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Sinéad B Chapman, Anne Stevenson, Rocky E Stroud, ..., NeuroGAP-Psychosis Study Team "Low-coverage sequencing cost-effectively detects known and novel variation in underrepresented populations." The American Journal of Human Genetics. 2021 Apr 1;108(4):656-6688.
- Frank R Wendt, Gita A Pathak, Cassie Overstreet, Daniel S Tylee, Joel Gelernter, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Renato Polimanti "Characterizing the effect of background selection on the polygenicity of brain-related traits." Genomics. 2021 Jan;113(1):111-119.
- Brooke A Scelza, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Sean Prall, Richard McElreath, Jacob Sheehama, Brenna M Henn "The ethics and logistics of field-based genetic paternity studies." Evolutionary Human Sciences. 2020 May 13;2:1-36.
- Brooke A Scelza, Sean P Prall, Natalie Swinford, Shyamalika Gopalan, Elizabeth G Atkinson, Richard McElreath, Jacob Sheehama, Brenna M Henn "High rate of extrapair paternity in a human population demonstrates diversity in human reproductive strategies." Science advances. 2020 Feb 19;6(8)
- Javier D. Monzón, Elizabeth G. Atkinson, Brenna M. Henn, Jorge L. Benach "Population and Evolutionary Genomics of Amblyomma americanum, an Expanding Arthropod Disease Vector." Genome biology and evolution. 2016 May;8(5):1351-1360.
- Elizabeth G Atkinson, Jeffrey Rogers, James M Cheverud "Evolutionary and developmental implications of asymmetric brain folding in a large primate pedigree." Evolution. 2016 Jan 26;70(3):707-715.
- Elizabeth G Atkinson, Jeffrey Rogers, Michael C Mahaney, Laura A Cox, James M Cheverud "Cortical Folding of the Primate Brain: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Genetic Architecture, Modularity, and Evolvability of a Significant Neurological Trait in Pedigreed Baboons (Genus Papio)." Genetics. 2015 Jun 1;200(2):651-665.
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