Dr. Crawford’s laboratory accesses large-scale epidemiologic and clinical data to characterize common and rare genetic variants associated with human diseases. A particular interest is in identifying pleiotropy (when a single gene or variant influences two or more seemingly unrelated traits) and environmental modifiers of genetic associations, including pharmacogenomics (the study of how genetic variants affect a person's response to drugs).
She has played leading roles in NIH-funded consortia dedicated to developing the infrastructure for national studies emphasizing diversity and drawing from electronic health records integrated with genomics. Dr. Crawford promotes the cultivation of women and other groups underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and research, recognizing that perspectives and findings from diverse studies can unlock why people with diverse genetic, behavioral, and environmental backgrounds can have varied risks for diseases and outcomes to interventions or treatments.
Contributions to science:
• Generalization of GWAS-identified variants in diverse populations, notably applied to the Epidemiologic Architecture for Genes Linked to Environment (EAGLE) study, a site of the larger NHGRI-funded PAGE I study
• Identification of environmental and genetic modifiers relevant to human complex phenotypes, using traditional and emerging statistical approaches
• Use of biorepositories linked to electronic health records for genomic studies, which involves developing strategies for electronic phenotyping EHR data
• Identification and characterization of pleiotropy amongst nuclear and mitochondrial variants in diverse populations
Dr. Crawford’s laboratory accesses large-scale epidemiologic and clinical data in electronic health records to characterize common and rare genetic variants associated with human diseases. A particular interest is in identifying pleiotropy (when a single gene influences two or more seemingly unrelated physical traits) and environmental modifiers of genetic associations, including pharmacogenomics (the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs). She has published more than 180 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Among her accomplishments was serving as principal investigator of the NIH’s Electronic Medical Records & Genomics (eMERGE) Network Coordinating Center and co-chair of the eMERGE Network’s Genomics Working Group. She also played a leadership role in the NIH’s Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) I study. She recently completed a three-year term as an elected member of the American Society of Human Genetics Board of Directors.
In addition to her primary research, Dr. Crawford co-Director and Principal Investigator of CasePREP, an NIH-funded post-baccalaureate program for recent college graduates from diverse backgrounds who are interested in going to graduate school to earn a PhD or MD/PhD in a biomedical field.
Her honors and awards include the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Faculty Diversity Award, Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science Distinguished Research Mentor Award, Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology Fellow, NCMHD/NIH Health Disparities Research Scholar, and the ASHG C.W. Cotterman Award. In 2020, Dr. Crawford was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Biological Sciences for distinguished contributions in pioneering phenome-wide association studies and in developing and leading genetic studies in under-represented minority populations.
Before coming to CWRU, Dr. Crawford spent eight years as tenure-track faculty in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Investigator in the Center for Human Genetics Research at Vanderbilt University.
- PLoS One, Academic Editor
- PLoS Genetics, Guest Associate Editor
- Frontiers in Genetics, Specialty Chief Editor, Applied Genetic Epidemiology