Basic Science Researcher
Dan Evans, PhD
Identifying the genes and molecular pathways underlying common age-related diseases
Dr. Dan Evans and colleagues at CPMCRI and the San Francisco Coordinating Center are using high-throughput and sequencing methods to study age-related diseases. Their research focuses on three areas:
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of osteoarthritis to identify genetic variants associated with this condition, which affects approximately 40% of people aged 70 and older. Projects are underway to uncover the functional impact of associated genetic variants, which will help shed light on the biological processes underlying osteoarthritis.
Identification of genetic variants associated with sleep traits: Changes in the timing and quality of sleep occur as humans age. A highly conserved set of genes, termed “clock genes,” regulate circadian processes including sleep in diverse organisms. Dr. Evans and colleagues found that genetic variants in clock genes are associated with sleep timing and quality in the elderly. They are investigating the relationship between clock gene variants and other age-related traits to better understand the connection between circadian biology and aging.
Understanding and comparing population-specific genetic variation in complex human traits: Most GWAS have been conducted in European populations; performing GWAS in non-European populations can help identify novel genetic associations due to population-specific genetic variation. Dr. Evans’ cross-population studies focus on complex heritable quantitative traits related to heart function, specifically the conduction of excitatory electrical signals.
Dr. Evans received a PhD in molecular and cell biology and an MPH in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Recent publications include:
- Evangelou E, Kerkhof HJ, Styrkarsdottir U, Ntzani EE, Bos SD, Esko T, Evans DS, et al. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies novel variants associated with osteoarthritis of the hip. (2013). Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Sep 4. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-203114 [Epub ahead of print].
- Rietveld CA, Medland SE, Derringer J,…Evans DS, et al. GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment. (2013). Science May 30.
- Avery CL, Sitlani CM, Arking DE, Arnett DK, Bis J, Boerwinkle E, Buckley BM, Chen I, de Craen AJM, Eijgelsheim M, Enquohabarie D, Evans DS, et al. Drug-gene interactions and the search for missing heritability: a cross-sectional pharmacogenomics study of the QT interval. (2013). The Pharmacogenomics Journal March 5.
- Evans DS, Parimi N, Nievergelt CM, Blackwell T, Redline S, Ancoli-Israel S, Orwoll EC, Cummings SR, Stone KL, Tranah GJ. Common genetic variants in ARNTL and NPAS2 and at chromosome 12p13 are associated with objectively measured sleep traits in the elderly. (2013). SLEEP 36(3): 431-446.
- Butler A*, Yin X*, Evans DS*, Nalls MA*, et al. Novel loci associated with PR interval in a genome-wide association study of ten African American cohorts. (2012). Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics 5(6):639-646. *Contributed equally to this work.
- Evans DS, Snitker S, Wu S, Mody A, Njajou OT, Perlis ML, Gehrman PR, Shuldiner AR, and Hsueh WC. (2011). Habitual sleep/wake patterns in the Old Order Amish: heritability and association with non-genetic factors. SLEEP 34(5):661-9.
- Swarbrick MM*, Evans DS*, Valle MI, Favre H, Wu SH, Njajou OT, Li R, Zmuda JM, Miljkovic I, Harris TB, Kwok PY, Vaisse C, and Hsueh WC. (2011). Replication and extension of association between common genetic variants in SIM1 and human adiposity. Obesity 19(12):2394-2403.
*Contributed equally to this work.
- Smith JG, Magnani JW, Palmer C, Meng YA, Soliman EZ, Musani SK, Kerr KF, Schnabel RB, Lubitz SA, Sotoodehnia N, Redline S, Pfeufer A, Müller M, Evans DS, Nalls MA, Liu Y, Newman AB, Zonderman AB, Evans MK, Deo R, Ellinor PT, Paltoo DN, Newton-Cheh C, Benjamin EJ, Mehra R, Alonso A, Heckbert SR, Fox ER; Candidate-gene Association Resource (CARe) Consortium (2011). Genome-wide association studies of the PR interval in African-Americans. PLoS Genetics 7(2), e1001304.
- Aslan IR, Campos GM, Calton MA, Evans DS, Merriman RB, and Vaisse C. (2011). Weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in obese patients heterozygous for MC4R mutations. Obesity Surgery 21(7):930-4.