Lisa Harney

Graduate Research Assistant

I am a second year graduate student in the Genetics PhD program researching the genetics of cleft lip and palate (CL/P) in Dr. Jeff Murray's lab. My current project is determining the role of copy number variations (CNVs) in syndromic and non-syndromic CL/P using array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). CNVs have been shown to contribute to the etiology of human disease by causing changes in gene expression levels, but few large-scale studies have been conducted to understand the extent of their contribution to CL/P. Our hope is to further validate known loci and identify novel regions that play a significant role in clefting using aCGH in a large CL/P cohort. In addition to CNVs, I hope to extend my thesis work to encompass other areas of CL/P research. These include but are not limited to epigenetic regulation of CL/P, imprinting, whole exome or whole genome sequencing, RNA-seq, or enhancer-seq. It is my hope that by the end of my graduate career I will have successfully contributed significant findings to further the understanding of the development of CL/P.