Cristen Willer, Ph.D.

Cristen Willer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
Assistant Professor, Human Genetics
Assistant Professor, Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics

5804 Medical Science II
1241 Catherine St.
Ann Arbor
Research Interests: 

Our group focuses on the analysis of high-throughput genetic and sequencing data to understand the genetic basis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We have identified several hundred new genetic regions associated with lipid levels and obesity using whole-genome association studies and are now moving towards fine-mapping these loci to identify functional genetic variants. We are also performing state-of-the-art whole exome and whole genome sequencing studies to identify rare genetic variants with potentially large effects on disease risk. We are currently seeking a postdoctoral fellow with some computational and/or statistical skills and an interest in the biological basis of complex disease, as well as a PhD in a related discipline.

Honors and Awards: 
2010 Biological Sciences Scholar, University of Michigan
2006 - 2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Diabetes Association
2005 Travel Award to HapMap Meeting, UK
2001 - 2003 MS Society of Canada PhD Studentship
1998 Dean's Honour List, McMaster University
1995 Dean's Honour List, McMaster University
1994 Canada Scholar, Ontario Scholar
2004-2010 Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Postdoctoral Research
2003 University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, Ph.D.
1998 McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, B. Sc.
Selected Publications: 

Li Y, Willer CJ, Ding J, Scheet P, Abecasis GR. (2010) MaCH: Using sequence and genotype data to estimate haplotypes and unobserved genotypes. Genetic Epidemiology Dec;34(8):816-34

Speliotes EK*, Willer CJ*, Berndt SI*, Monda KL*, Thorleifsson G*, Jackson AU, Lango Allen H, Lindgren CM, Luan J, Magi R, Randall JC, Vedantam S, [plus 351 additional authors], Wichmann H-E, Frayling TM, Thorsteinsdottir U, Abecasis GR, Barroso I, Boehnke M*, Stefansson K*, North KE*, McCarthy MI*, Hirschhorn JN*, Ingelsson E*, Loos RJF*. (2010) Association analyses of 249,746 individuals reveal eighteen new loci associated with body mass index . Nature Genetics 42(11):937-48

Lango Allen H*, Estrada K*, Lettre G*, Berndt SI*, Weedon MN*, Rivadeneira F*, Willer CJ, Jackson AU, Vedantam S, Raychaudhuri S, Ferreira T, Wood AR, [plus 269 additional authors], Uitterlinden A, Visscher P, Chatterjee N, Loos RJF, Boehnke M, McCarthy MI, Ingelsson E, Lindgren CM, Abecasis GR*, Stefansson K*, Frayling T*, Hirschhorn JN*. (2010) Hundreds of variants influence human height and cluster within genomic loci and biological pathways. Nature 467(7317):832-8

Heid IM, Jackson AU, Randall JC, Winkler TW, Qi L, Steinthorsdottir V, Thorleifsson G, Zillikens MC, Speliotes EK, Magi R, Workalemahu T, White CC, Bouatia-Naji N, Harris TB, Berndt SI, Ingelsson E, Willer CJ, Weedon MN, [plus 268 additional authors], Assimes TL, Wichmann H-E, Thorsteinsdottir U, van Duijn CM, Stefansson K, Cupples LA, Loos RJF, Barroso I, McCarthy MI, Fox CS, Mohlke KL, Lindgren CM. (2010) Meta-analysis identifies 13 novel loci associated with waist-hip ratio and reveals sexual dimorphism in the genetic basis of fat distribution. Nature Genetics 42(11):949-60

Pruim RJ*, Welch RP*, Sanna S, Teslovich TM, Chines PS, Gliedt TP, Boehnke M, Abecasis GR, Willer CJ. (2010) LocusZoom: Regional visualization of genome-wide association scan results. Bioinformatics PMID: 20634204

Willer CJ, Li Y, Abecasis GR. (2010) METAL: Fast and efficient meta-analysis of genomewide association scans. Bioinformatics PMID: 20616382

Teslovich TM, Musunuru K, Smith AV, Edmondson A, Sylianou IM, Koseki M, Rapatti S, Chasman DI, Willer CJ, Pirruccello J, Johansen CT, Fouchier SW, [plus > 100 additional authors], Rotter JI, Boerwinkle E, Strachan DP, Mooser V, Cupples AL, Sandhu MS, Ridker PM, Rader DJ, van Duijn CM, Peltonen L, Abecasis GR, Boehnke M, Kathiresan S, for the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium. (2010) Biological, clinical and population relevance of 95 loci mapped for serum lipid concentrations. Nature 466(7307):707-13