Lea Davis, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine

Lea Davis, Ph.D. is interested in the genomics of a wide range of complex phenotypes and their societal implications. For most complex traits, much of the genetic liability is distributed throughout the genome and therefore each individual single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) explains a very small proportion of the phenotypic variance (i.e., heritability) observed through traditional twin and family-based methods. While the contribution of each individual variant is small, for many complex or “polygenic” traits, the cumulative the effect of these contributory common SNPs is substantial. Additionally, complex traits are also influenced by rare genetic variants, and environmental factors. Her research aims to understand how polygenic risk, rare variant risk, and environment interact to result in complex traits. She studies a wide range of traits including psychiatric and endocrine phenotypes and are particularly interested in understanding the genetics underlying the richness of neurodiversity in human populations.