Farber Lab

The Farber Lab uses innovative systems genetics and genomics approaches to study complex bone phenotypes related to physiology and disease.

Charles Farber

Charles Farber

Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences

University of Virginia Center for Public Health Genomics

Research Focus

Common diseases, such as osteoporosis, impart significant societal health burdens. These diseases are, in part, regulated by genetic determinants and understanding their genetic basis is critical to the development of effective therapeutics. In recent years, technological advances, such as sequencing the genomes of multiple species and the ability to perform bioassays in a massively parallel fashion, have made it possible to begin to understand disease in a systems context. Systems-biology attempts to determine the direct and interactive roles of all cellular and physiological components (transcripts, proteins, metabolites, etc.) in diseased and normal states using data from high-throughput genomic studies.

Our lab is using systems approaches to investigate the molecular basis of bone strength. The goal of this work is to combine genetics and global gene expression profiling in the mouse to identify genes and pathways which influence bone strength related traits using techniques such as causality modeling between expression and physiological traits and generating disease focused gene co-expression networks. An additional component of this work is testing hypotheses generated by systems-analyses using in vitro cell based assays and transgenic mouse models.

Interests

  • Bioinformatics and Genomics
  • Computational Biology
  • Genetics
  • Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Single cell RNA-seq and ATAC-seq

Education

  • PhD in Genetics

    University of California, Davis

  • MS Genetics

    Michigan State University

  • BSc Biochemistry

    Western Kentucky

Abdullah "Arby" Abood

Abdullah "Arby" Abood

PhD candidate

About Arby

Arby is a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He uses systems genetics approaches to elucidate the genetics of osteoporosis.

Interests

  • Systems Genetics
  • Computational Biology
  • Genetic Epidemiology

Education

  • PhD in Molecular Genetics, 2023

    University of Virginia

  • MSc in Micorbiology, 2018

    Clemson University

  • BSc in Biology

    George Mason University

Basel Al-Barghouthi

Basel Al-Barghouthi

Ph.D. candidate @ The Farber Lab

University of Virginia

About Basel

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Charles Farber’s lab at the University of Virginia. I’m currently interested in the systems genetics of complex traits, and my current research deals with unraveling the systems genetics underlying bone strength and strength-related traits.

In my research, I utilize computational tools and methods, such as transcriptomic network learning, as well as molecular biology bench work, in order to further understand the genetics underlying bone strength.

Interests

  • Systems genetics
  • Complex trait genetics
  • Network biology
  • Genomics
  • Bioinformatics

Education

  • PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, 2021 (ongoing)

    University of Virginia School of Medicine

  • MS in Biological and Physical Sciences, 2017

    University of Virginia School of Medicine

  • MS in Bioinformatics, 2015

    University of Michigan

  • BS in Biology, 2013

    The University of Texas at Austin

About Will

I am a biostatistician at the University of Virginia Center for Public Health Genomics. My research leverages system genetics approaches to elucidate the gentics of bone strength. As a computational researcher, I conduct analyses for bulk RNA-seq, single cell ATAC-seq and RNA-seq, and transcriptome wide association studies.

Interests

  • Biostatistics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Systems Genetics
  • Computational Biology
  • Genetic Epidemiology

Education

  • MSc in Biostatistics, 2018

    Northwestern University

  • BSc in Biology

    Penn State University

About Larry

I have spent over 25 years studying varying aspects of DNA replication and genome instability, from in vitro studies of polymerase elongation complexes to the development of methods for whole-genome studies in mammalian systems. In the last 7 years I have been working on developing a pipeline for verifying candidate genes from GWAS studies using mouse models coupled with human and mouse cell model systems.

Interests

  • Systems Genetics
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry

Education

  • PhD in Biochemistry, 1992

    University of Virginia

  • BSc in Botany

    University of Iowa

Projects

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GWAS

GWAS have identified dozens of loci for bone mineral density (BMD). The next step is to use these data to identify the genetic variants and genes responsible for the genetic effects.

Single Cell

Skeletal development and maintenance is controlled by numerous cell-types. Historically, genomic studies of bone cells have been challenging due to difficulties in isolating homogenous cell-types from marrow or bone. Recently, this has begun to change with the emergence of single cell technologies

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