Candidate: Dr. Manika Govil is a statistical geneticist currently undergoing postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine's Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics (CCDG). Her prior research focuses on extensions of the posterior probability of linkage (PPL), and includes a Bayesian reanalysis of cleft lip with/out cleft palate (CL/P) family data. Her short-term goal is to gain fundamental knowledge of craniofacial and dental genetic (CFDG) disorders, with special emphasis on understanding the etiology, epidemiology, and phenotypes of CL/P. A deeper understanding of CL/P and other complex genetic traits is critical to the development of methods with computationally feasible implementations that will be capable of modeling the expected heterogeneity in the data to identify multigenic causes. Her long-term goal is to become an independent, interdisciplinary research scientist with a funded research program that will bring together expertise in statistics and computer science to advance our understanding of complex traits like CFDG disorders. Environment: CCDG has ongoing NIDCR-funded grants examining craniofacial and dental disorders. The University of Pittsburgh has a long-standing track record of providing postdoctoral fellows and research associates with exceptional research and career development training. Mentors &Consultants: Dr. Mary Marazita will serve as the primary mentor for this award. She is the principal investigator on several CFDG grants, and has expertise in orofacial research. Dr. Veronica Vieland, an expert in statistical genetics, will serve as co-mentor on this grant She is the principal investigator on grants relating to methods development for complex traits, as well as grants for the analysis of complex traits like autism and CL/P. In addition, Drs. Jeffrey O'Connell and Daniel Weeks will contribute to Dr. Govil's training and research plan. Both Drs. O'Connell and Weeks have expertise in computational aspects of statistical genetic analysis. Research Career Development Plan: In addition to a series of tutorials conducted with the mentors/consultants in their areas of expertise, Dr. Govil will also participate in subject area relevant workshops, seminars, and society meetings. Research Study:
The aim of this project is to develop computationally feasible statistical genetic methods and apply them to the analysis of complex CFDG disorders. Public Health Relevance: Complex genetic traits including craniofacial and dental genetic disorders like CL/P constitute a significant public health burden.
The aim of this project is to further our understanding of CL/P and other complex traits by developing, implementing computationally, and applying in analyses, statistical methods that are capable of modelling genetic factors, with/out possible environmental factors, that may be responsible for such traits.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Career Transition Award (K99)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDE1-RK (44))
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Frieden, Leslie A
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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Letra, Ariadne; Menezes, Renato; Cooper, Margaret E et al. (2011) CRISPLD2 variants including a C471T silent mutation may contribute to nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 48:363-70
Letra, Ariadne; Menezes, Renato; Govil, Manika et al. (2010) Follow-up association studies of chromosome region 9q and nonsyndromic cleft lip/palate. Am J Med Genet A 152A:1701-10
Letra, A; Menezes, R; Fonseca, R F et al. (2010) Novel cleft susceptibility genes in chromosome 6q. J Dent Res 89:927-32
de Carvalho, Flavia M; Tinoco, Eduardo M B; Govil, Manika et al. (2009) Aggressive periodontitis is likely influenced by a few small effect genes. J Clin Periodontol 36:468-73