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Predoctoral Fellows

Carolina Downie
Education: MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Carolina Downie is currently working towards completing her PhD in Epidemiology at UNC-CH, in addition to her position as a predoctoral fellow.
Kimi Van Wickle
Education: MS in Public Health: Global Disease Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Kimi Van Wickle is a current PhD Student at UNC Chapel Hill in the Department of Epidemiology. In her work as a predoctoral fellow, she combines her experiences with geospatial analysis, monitoring and evaluation, digital heath interventions, and manuscript development to work with marginalized populations.
Peter Yang
Education: MPH in Epidemiology from Emory Unversity.
Mr. Yang’s research interests are primarily focused on utilizing genetic epidemiological methods to better identify and classify type 1 diabetes (T1D) in patients generally diagnosed with non-specific diabetes. Additionally, Mr. Yang hopes to understand utilization of these methods in public health surveillance and infectious disease epidemiology. He is currently working towards completing his PhD in Epidemiology at UNC-CH.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Sabri Abdelwahab, MD, PhD
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics, UNC-CH.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Sabri focuses on pathology and laboratory medicine.
Jon Rosen, PhD
Education: PhD in Biostatistics from UNC-CH.
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics, UNC-CH.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Rosen’s research interests include transcriptome-wide association studies, genotype imputation, and reproducibility metrics for HiChIP/PLAC-Seq chromatin 3D organization data.
Jung Kyun Seo, PhD
Education: PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from Duke University.
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, UNC-CH.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Seo has worked on several research projects, including conducting sex- and race-stratified GWAS analyses for Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) and conducting formal analysis to decipher the transcriptomic regulatory mechanism of diverticulosis.

Former Predoctoral Alumni

Victoria Buchanan
Education: MPH in Epidemiology from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Current position: Graduate Research Assistant/PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology, UNC-CH. 
Victoria Buchanan is a doctoral student interested in molecular (including genetic and metabolomics) epidemiology of type 2 diabetes and other related traits, particularly in Hispanic/Latino populations who are disproportionately affected but underrepresented in genomics research. She is also interested in the mechanisms driving transitions from normoglycemic to prediabetic and diabetic states, and vice versa.
Jason Collins
Education: MPH from Boston University.
Mr. Collins’s research interests within HLB genetic epidemiology focus on hematologic (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential), epigenetic, and environmental risk factors, often as they relate to cardiovascular disease. He is currently working towards completing his PhD in Epidemiology at UNC-CH.
LáShauntá (Tay) Glover
Education: M.S. in Health Promotion from the University of Mississippi.
Current position: PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology, UNC-CH and NHLBI predoctoral fellow and graduate research assistant.
As a PhD candidate, Tay is interested in psychosocial factors and epigenetic influences on cardiovascular disease and related morbidities. For her dissertation research, she has been exploring the role of epigenomics in mediating the association between socioeconomic status and type 2 diabetes incidence.
Chani Hodonsky, PhD
Education: PhD in Epidemiology with an emphasis on cardiovascular genetics from UNC-CH, MPH in Hospital & Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan.
Current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, UVA Center for Public Health Genomics. 
As a PhD candidate, Chadi Hodonsky focused focused on the association of genetic variants identified in ancestrally diverse populations with quantitative red blood cell traits. As a postdoctoral research associate, she is interested in combining molecular and computational techniques to elucidate mechanisms by which genetic variation in regulatory regions affects plaque formation in CAD.
Brooke Staley
Education: Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine.
Current position: Predoctoral Fellow, Individual Ford Foundation Awardee, and PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology, UNC-CH. 
Broadly, Brooke is interested in amplifying the voices of marginalized individuals from underserved and historically underrepresented populations in health research within and beyond the academy. More specifically, her research interests include understanding health disparities to promote health equity through biosocial processes, intergenerational health, and life course frameworks.

Former Postdoctoral Alumni

Alaine Broadaway, PhD
Education: PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Emory University.
Current position: Research Associate, Department of Genetics, UNC-CH.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Alaine Broadaway researched the genetic factors that account for differences in cardiovascular and obesity-related health outcomes. Her research projects include co-leading genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses on refined insulin traits and identifying expression quantitative trait loci colocalized with cardiometabolic GWAS loci.
Jim Davis, PhD
Education: PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Oklahoma State University
Current position: Scientist at BioAgilytix, Durham, NC.
Jim Davis is a molecular human geneticist focused on the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases. At UNC, he performed molecular and functional analysis of cardiometabolic GWAS loci, identified disease-associated variants that alter gene expression, and generated CRISPR/cas-based deletions to link disease-associated variants to genes. His genetic epidemiology analyses included discovery of new variants associated with levels of lipoprotein subclasses and triglyceride measures.
Heather Highland, PhD
Education: PhD in Human and Molecular Genetics from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, UNC-CH.
Dr. Highland focuses on the shared genetic etiology of diabetes, adiposity, and cardiometabolic traits. Her interests extend into multiple ‘comics areas and defining endophentypes underlying overt disease. She is responsible for setting up analytical tools for multiple shared datasets, with complexities including in sampling design and relatedness.
Harold Lee, PhD
Education: PhD in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences from Brown University.
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University.
Harold Lee is a behavioral and social health scientist trained in genetics. He is interested in using behavioral science for health promotion, particularly among those who are socially and genetically predisposed to bad health.
Shelly Ann Love, PhD
Education: PhD in Epidemiology from the UNC-CH.
Current position: Epidemiologist, Social Scientific Systems at DLH Corporation.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Love lead two projects that utilized the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Study population. The first study investigated the association of individual- level and neighborhood-level socioeconomic disadvantage with clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP). The second study investigated the association of psychosocial stress with CHIP.
Laura Raffield, PhD
Education: PhD in Molecular Genetics and Genomics from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, UNC-CH.
Laura Raffield’s research focuses on genetic analysis of hematology and hemostasis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Type II Diabetes related traits, particularly in underrepresented African American and Hispanic/Latino populations. She serves as a Genetics Working Group co-chair for the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), one of the largest population based studies of African Americans, and is an Inflammation/Hematology working group co-chair for the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) consortium.
Matthew B. Tsilimigras, PhD
Education: PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from UNC Charlotte.
Current position: Stay-at-home Dad.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Tsilimigras worked on projects related towards integrating multiomics data with population science towards equitable precision medicine by leveraging diverse human cohorts. Specifically, he focused on understanding modifiable risk factors in asthma, obesity and cardiovascular phenotypes using a precision medicine framework.