Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D.
The central focus of research in her laboratory includes the mapping of Mendelian and complex inherited diseases. Recently, she has been involved in the localization of genes for several Mendelian (single-gene) disorders including: the autosomal dominant disorders familial primary pulmonary hypertension and multiple system presenile dementia. In the past, Dr. Foroud has been involved in linkage of the autosomal recessive disorder ataxia-telangiectasia as well as studies in the autosomal dominant prion disease Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease and the autosomal recessive disorder limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.
In addition, her laboratory is actively involved in linkage studies in non-Mendelian disorders. These disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis and alcoholism, are typically quite common and while family studies indicate a genetic component to disease susceptibility, it is also clear that a single gene is unlikely to account for all the observed genetic effect. Rather, these disorders are termed complex diseases because multiple genes are believed to be acting together in an additive, multiplicative or epistatic fashion.
In order to study the genetics of these disorders, it is necessary to collect large samples of families with multiple individuals affected with the disease. Her laboratory is involved in several large collaborative efforts to analyze data from families with alcoholism, bipolar manic-depressive illness, Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis. Genome screens are underway in each of these disorders and suggestive regions for possible genes are being identified.
Dr. Foroud also teaches one of the courses in the Hereditary Diseases and Family Studies Division: Q630: Population Genetics.