September 30, 2021
LA JOLLA—Salk Assistant Professor Graham McVicker has been awarded a National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Genomic Innovator Award, which supports early-career scientists who conduct innovative, creative research in genomics. The award, which provides $2.85 million over five years, is in recognition of McVicker’s efforts using computational and experimental approaches to investigate how human genetic diversity leads to metabolic, cardiovascular, autoimmune and other diseases.
“Graham is pushing the boundaries of computational genetics as he unravels the molecular drivers of disease states,” says Salk President and Professor Rusty Gage. “We are thrilled to see Graham get recognized for his talent and contributions to the field of genomics.”
McVicker, who holds the Frederick B. Rentschler Developmental Chair, studies how differences in human DNA (genetic variants) affect gene regulation in order to understand the genetic underpinnings of complex human diseases. He seeks to identify the disease-associated regulatory variants that act in a variety of cell types, including immune cells, neuronal cells and cancer cells. Currently, he is utilizing a combination of technologies for altering genes and computational analyses to discover regulatory sequences, interpret genetic variants that do not code for proteins and connect them to the genes they regulate. In much of his research, he develops sophisticated computational and statistical methods to extract subtle signals from experimental data.
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