Population genetics

We have been exploring patterns of diversity in Native Americans using autosomal, sex- chromosome and mtDNA markers in order to examine the process of initial settlement of the Americas, the pattern of population dispersal in the continent and the relationship of genetic data to other sources of historical information (1,2,4). We are also interested in probing the genetic history of recently established Latin American populations seeking to characterize the process of European, Native American and African admixture in the region (3,5).

Collaborators: CANDELA, Gabriel Bedoya, Laurent Excoffier, Damian Labuda, David Reich.

1 Yang et al. (2010) Contrasting patterns of nuclear and mtDNA diversity in Native American populations. Annals of Human Genetics

2- Ray et al. (2010) A statistical evaluation of models for the initial settlement of the American continent emphasizes the importance of gene flow with Asia. Mol Biol Evol. 27:337-45.

3- Wang et al. (2008) Geographic patterns of genome admixture in Latin American Mestizos PLoS Genet 4: e1000037

4- Wang et al. (2007) Genetic variation and population structure in Native Americans. PLoS Genetics 3:185.

5- Bedoya (2006) Admixture dynamics in Hispanics: a shift in the nuclear genetic ancestry of a South American population isolate. Proc Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A 103, 7234-7239.


Gene mapping

We have been interested in exploiting properties of certain Latin American populations that could facilitate gene identifiation: geographic isolation, admixture and rapid demographic growth. This has led us to apply linkage and association approaches to both Mendelian (1) and complex disorders (3,5). We have been interested in the development and application of mapping genetic methods tailored to recently admixed populations (2,4). We recently initiated a large study aimed at identifying genes underlying the differentiated physical appearance of Native Americans and Europeans using a combined association/admixture mapping approach in admixed Latin American populations.

Collaborators: CANDELA, Gabriel Bedoya, Nelson Freimer, Alkes Price, David Reich.

1- Kremeyer et al (2010) A gain-of-function mutation in TRPA1 causes familial episodic pain syndrome. Neuron. 66:671-80.

2- Florez et al (2009) Strong association of socioeconomic status with genetic ancestry in Latinos: implications for admixture studies of type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 52: 1528-1536.

3- Jasinska et al. (2009) Narrow and Highly Significant Linkage Signal for Severe Bipolar Disorder in the Chromosome 5q33 Region in Latin American Pedigrees. Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 150:998-1006.

4- Price (2007) A genomewide admixture map for latino populations. Am.J.Hum.Genet. 80, 1024-1036.

5- Herzberg . (2006) Convergent linkage evidence from two Latin-American population isolates supports the presence of a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder in 5q31-34. Hum.Mol.Genet. 15, 3146-3153.