Dr Samira Asgari

Please join us for the latest instalment of the Wright-Fleming Institute, Infection and Immunity Seminar Series

About the Speaker

Dr Samira Asgari

I was born and raised in Iran. After obtaining my M.Sc. degree from the University of Tehran, I moved to EPFL, Switzerland in 2011 to pursue a Ph.D. in human genomics of infectious disease (Jacques Fellay’s lab). In 2017, I moved to the US to continue my research as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (Soumya Raychaudhuri’s lab).

 Currently, large-scale studies of complex trait are conducted predominantly in Europeans. The projects that I talk about highlight the importance expanding human genomics studies to divers populations and show how differences in genetic ancestry can be leveraged to learn about the genetic basis of complex traits. Specifically, I will share examples from our recently published work on genetics of height which led to the discovery of a novel, population-specific variant that reduces height by 2.2 cm per allele (Asgari, et. al, Nature, 2020). I will also share results from our ongoing work on the role of Native Peruvian ancestry in susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) showing that Native ancestry can increase TB progression risk independently of socio-demographic and environmental confounders Asgari, et. al, medRxiv, 2020). To conclude, I will discuss how the frameworks that I discussed above can be applied to future human genetic studies including studies of host genomics in order to improve understanding of the biological processes involved in immunity, facilitate drug development, and reduce health disparities.

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