Nancy Cox

Sr. Fellow,
- Professor and Section Chief, Dept. of Medicine, Section of Genetic Medicine

Contact Information

Section of Genetic Medicine
Department of Medicine
University of Chicago
900 East 57th St.
KCBD 3220
Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: (773)834-2534
Fax: (773) 702-2567
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


My laboratory is a computational “dry” lab. Our research focus is on the identification and characterization of genetic variation influencing susceptibility to complex disorders. We work on both the localization of the genetic variation, via linkage studies and linkage disequilibrium mapping, as well as on the analytic component to positional cloning of genes for complex disorders. There are ongoing collaborations with a variety of groups at the University of Chicago for which we contribute the genetic analysis, including both linkage and linkage disequilibrium mapping, and these include projects on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, asthma and related phenotypes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. In addition, we have a primary focus on developing and extending methods for mapping genes for complex disorders. Currently, this research includes an emphasis on developing robust methods for taking gene-gene interaction into account in the context of linkage mapping, linkage disequilibrium mapping and positional cloning. We are also developing, extending and applying methods for linkage disequilibrium mapping using the decay of haplotype sharing approaches pioneered by our colleague and collaborator in the Dept. of Statistics, Mary Sara McPeek. We also have a major emphasis on developing approaches for identifying the genetic variation affecting susceptibility to complex disorders in the context of positional cloning studies. These methods focus on identifying the genetic variation associated with disease, as well as showing significant ability to partition the evidence for linkage, and seeks to distinguish the actual causal variation from genetic variation that is merely in linkage disequilibrium. These methods are being immediately applied in projects on type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as asthma. Our group is also taking a leadership role in a large collaborative study on type 2 diabetes, in which we are attempting to combine data from all existing genome scans for type 2 diabetes for linkage mapping studies. This project has generated data on a scale that has not been possible for any individual group to do, and this massive data set has required development of some novel approaches for analysis, as well as revision of standard software for mapping. We have also recently initiated a research project designed to map and identify genetic variation affecting susceptibility to stuttering.

Finally, because of a long-standing collaboration with a colleague in the Dept. of Human Genetics, Carole Ober, we are interested in developing and extending methods for genetic analysis of large, inbred geneologies such as the Hutterites, which is a long-term, major focus of Dr. Ober’s laboratory.

Research Papers