Cardiovascular Genomics


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed more than 50 genomic loci that are associated with increased risk for CAD. However, the pathological mechanisms for majority of the GWAS loci leading to increased susceptibility to this complex disorder are still unclear. Many of the CAD loci appear to act through the vessel wall, presumably affecting smooth muscle cell (SMC) function.

School of Medicine Research Computing (SOMRC) is working with Redouane Aherrahrou from the Center for Public Health Genomics who aims to study the impact of the CAD-associated genetic factors on the cellular and molecular SMC phenotypes, as well as the underlying biological pathways that are perturbed by these genetic factors.

While providing scientific programming and data analysis support for this project, SOMRC has:

  • Developed a series of scripts to programmatically normalize and summarize experimental data
  • Created interactive and static data visualizations
  • Performed statistical hypothesis tests
  • Provided guidance on the use of the local high-performance computing cluster (Rivanna)