Erik C. Andersen Genetics and genomics of complex traits

Research Interests

We differ in our susceptibilities to cancer, diabetes, and other common diseases because of each individual’s unique genetic makeup and the effects of their particular environment. The greatest challenge in genetics today is to read an individual’s genome and make predictions about disease and drug susceptibilities. The Andersen laboratory uses quantitative and molecular genetics in nematode roundworms, like Caenorhabditis elegans, to identify the genes that vary within populations to cause differences in these traits. Nematodes are a powerful experimental platform for many reasons, including a high-level of conservation with humans, ease of manipulation, a powerful genetic and genomic toolkit, a large wild strain collection that contains variation comparable to that of humans, and the ability to connect gene function to tissues and cells in an intact organism. In addition to genetics, we use new sequencing technologies, high-throughput robotic phenotyping assays, and other genomic tools to determine the molecular mechanisms for how genetic variation causes phenotypic differences.

Selected Publications

Extreme allelic heterogeneity at a Caenorhabditis elegans beta-tubulin locus explains natural resistance to benzimidazoles. Hahnel SR, Zdraljevic S, Rodriguez BC, Zhao Y, McGrath PT, and Andersen EC. PLoS Pathogens. 2018 October 29;14(10):e1007226.

Shared Genomic Regions Underlie Natural Variation in Diverse Toxin Responses. Evans KS, Brady SC, Bloom JS, Tanny RE, Cook DE, Giuliani SE, Hippleheuser SW, Zamanian M, and Andersen EC. Genetics. 2018 October 19:epub before print.

Natural variation in a single amino acid substitution underlies physiological responses to topoisomerase II poisons. Zdraljevic S, Strand C, Seidel HS, Cook DE, Doench JG, and Andersen EC. PLoS Genetics. 2017 July 12;13(7):e1006891.

Correlations of Genotype with Climate Parameters Suggest Caenorhabditis elegans Niche AdaptationsEvans KS, Zhao Y, Brady SC, Long L, McGrath PT, and Andersen EC. G3. 2017 January 1;7(1):289-298.

The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere LengthCook DE, Zdraljevic S, Tanny RE, Seo B, Riccardi DD, Noble LM, Rockman MV, Alkema MJ, Braendle C, Kammenga JE, Wang J, Kruglyak L, Félix M-A, Lee J, and Andersen EC. Genetics. 2016 September 1;204(1):371-383.

View all publications by Erik C. Andersen listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.