faculty photo

Benjamin Franklin Voight

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
Department: Pharmacology

Contact information
10-126 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Building 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-8083
Fax: 215-573-9135
Education:
BS (Biology)
University of Washington, 2001.
BA (Mathematics)
University of Washington, 2001.
PhD (Human Genetics)
University of Chicago, 2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interest
Our lab develops and utilizes statistical genetics, computational biology, and population genetics-based approaches to understand the biological underpinnings and evolutionary history of human phenotypes.

Keywords
Population Genetics, Statistical Genetics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Statistics, Systems Biology, Metabolic Disorder, Auto-Immune Traits, Type-2 Diabetes, Obesity, Myocardial Infarction, Cholesterol Levels, Natural Selection, Demography, Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS), Next-Generation Sequencing.

Research Summary
The central aim in my lab is to understand the genetic, biological, and evolutionary basis of metabolic and cardiovascular phenotypes in human populations. To build this understanding, the lab constructs computational and statistical tools grounded in principles of population biology and quantitative genetics and apply them to genetic data collected across thousands of entire human genomes.

My research has answered population genetic questions about recent demographic and selective events in human populations, and more recently I have focused on mapping risk alleles for common diseases, particularly type-2 diabetes and heart attack. I have also contributed to novel statistical approaches for population genetic inference and disease mapping studies, as well as leading the development of next generation sequencing and genotypic assay technologies designed to improve characterization of genetic variation in the human genome.

In the coming years, the lab activities will focus on developing informational and statistical tools which interrogate vast quantities of human genetic association data, together with other important information sources -- gene expression, protein-protein networks, Chip-SEQ, text-mining, epidemiology, and multiple phenotypic measurements in humans -- in order to construct credibly actionable information on pathways responsible for disease susceptibility.

Positions Available!
For the 2014-2015 academic year, my lab has openings for computational post-doctoral positions. Please see the following site for further details on how to apply.

The lab also has a number of potential graduate student rotation projects available for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ideal students will have a strong background in computational sciences, and projects will be built around human genetic data, bioinformatic applications, statistical genetic analysis, epidemiology, and/or population and systems biology. Please contact me if you are interested.

Selected Publications

Voight BF, Adams AM, Frisse LA, Qian Y, Hudson RR, Di Rienzo A: Interrogating multiple aspects of variation in a full resequencing data set to infer human population size changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102(51): 18508-13, Dec 2005.

Voight BF, Kudaravalli S, Wen X, Pritchard JK: A map of recent positive selection in the human genome. PLoS Biology 4(3): e72, Mar 2006.

The Diabetes Genetics Initiative (DGI): Genome-wide association analysis identifies loci for type 2 diabetes and triglyceride levels. Science (New York, N.Y.) 316(5829): 1331-6, Jun 2007.

The Myocardial Infarction Genetics (MIGen) Consoritum: Genome-wide association of early-onset myocardial infarction with single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variants. Nature Genetics 41(3): 334-41, Mar 2009.

Voight BF, Scott LJ, Steinthorsdottir V, Morris AP, Dina C, Welch RP, Zeggini E, Huth C, Aulchenko YS, Thorleifsson G, McCulloch LJ, Ferreira T, Grallert H, Amin N, Wu G, Willer CJ, Raychaudhuri S, McCarroll SA, Langenberg C, Hofmann OM, Dupuis J, Qi L, Segrè AV, van Hoek M, Navarro P, Ardlie K, Balkau B, Benediktsson R, Bennett AJ, Blagieva R, Boerwinkle E, Bonnycastle LL, Bengtsson Boström K, Bravenboer B, Bumpstead S, Burtt NP, Charpentier G, Chines PS, Cornelis M, Couper DJ, Crawford G, Doney AS, Elliott KS, Elliott AL, Erdos MR, Fox CS, Franklin CS, Ganser M, Gieger C, Grarup N, Green T, Griffin S, Groves CJ, Guiducci C, Hadjadj S, Hassanali N, Herder C, Isomaa B, Jackson AU, Johnson PR, Jørgensen T, Kao WH, Klopp N, Kong A, Kraft P, Kuusisto J, Lauritzen T, Li M, Lieverse A, Lindgren CM, Lyssenko V, Marre M, Meitinger T, Midthjell K, Morken MA, Narisu N, Nilsson P, Owen KR, Payne F, Perry JR, Petersen AK, Platou C, Proença C, Prokopenko I, Rathmann W, Rayner NW, Robertson NR, Rocheleau G, Roden M, Sampson MJ, Saxena R, Shields BM, Shrader P, Sigurdsson G, Sparsø T, Strassburger K, Stringham HM, Sun Q, Swift AJ, Thorand B, Tichet J, Tuomi T, van Dam RM, van Haeften TW, van Herpt T, van Vliet-Ostaptchouk JV, Walters GB, Weedon MN, Wijmenga C, Witteman J, Bergman RN, Cauchi S, Collins FS, Gloyn AL, Gyllensten U, Hansen T, Hide WA, Hitman GA, Hofman A, Hunter DJ, Hveem K, Laakso M, Mohlke KL, Morris AD, Palmer CN, Pramstaller PP, Rudan I, Sijbrands E, Stein LD, Tuomilehto J, Uitterlinden A, Walker M, Wareham NJ, Watanabe RM, Abecasis GR, Boehm BO, Campbell H, Daly MJ, Hattersley AT, Hu FB, Meigs JB, Pankow JS, Pedersen O, Wichmann HE, Barroso I, Florez JC, Frayling TM, Groop L, Sladek R, Thorsteinsdottir U, Wilson JF, Illig T, Froguel P, van Duijn CM, Stefansson K, Altshuler D, Boehnke M, McCarthy MI; MAGIC investigators; GIANT Consortium.: Twelve type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci identified through large-scale association analysis. Nature Genetics 42(7): 579-89, Jul 2010.

Neale BM, Rivas MA, Voight BF, Altshuler D, Devlin B, Orho-Melander M, Kathiresan S, Purcell SM, Roeder K, Daly MJ: Testing for an unusual distribution of rare variants. PLoS Genetics 7(3): e1001322, Mar 2011.

Cotsapas C, Voight BF, Rossin E, Lage K, Neale BM, Wallace C, Abecasis GR, Barrett JC, Behrens T, Cho J, De Jager PL, Elder JT, Graham RR, Gregersen P, Klareskog L, Siminovitch KA, van Heel DA, Wijmenga C, Worthington J, Todd JA, Hafler DA, Rich SS, Daly MJ: Pervasive sharing of genetic effects in autoimmune disease. PLoS Genetics 7(8): e1002254, Aug 2011.

Bumgarner SL, Neuert G, Voight BF, Symbor-Nagrabska A, Grisafi P, van Oudenaarden A, Fink GR. : Single-cell analysis reveals that noncoding RNAs contribute to clonal heterogeneity by modulating transcription factor recruitment. Molecular Cell 45(4): 470-482, Feb 2012.

Voight BF, Peloso GM, Orho-Melander M, Frikke-Schmidt R, Barbalic M, Jensen MK, Hindy G, Hólm H, Ding EL, Johnson T, Schunkert H, Samani NJ, Clarke R, Hopewell JC, Thompson JF, Li M, Thorleifsson G, Newton-Cheh C, Musunuru K, Pirruccello JP, Saleheen D, Chen L, Stewart AF, Schillert A, Thorsteinsdottir U, Thorgeirsson G, Anand S, Engert JC, Morgan T, Spertus J, Stoll M, Berger K, Martinelli N, Girelli D, McKeown PP, Patterson CC, Epstein SE, Devaney J, Burnett MS, Mooser V, Ripatti S, Surakka I, Nieminen MS, Sinisalo J, Lokki ML, Perola M, Havulinna A, de Faire U, Gigante B, Ingelsson E, Zeller T, Wild P, de Bakker PI, Klungel OH, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Peters BJ, de Boer A, Grobbee DE, Kamphuisen PW, Deneer VH, Elbers CC, Onland-Moret NC, Hofker MH, Wijmenga C, Verschuren WM, Boer JM, van der Schouw YT, Rasheed A, Frossard P, Demissie S, Willer C, Do R, Ordovas JM, Abecasis GR, Boehnke M, Mohlke KL, Daly MJ, Guiducci C, Burtt NP, Surti A, Gonzalez E, Purcell S, Gabriel S, Marrugat J, Peden J, Erdmann J, Diemert P, Willenborg C, König IR, Fischer M, Hengstenberg C, Ziegler A, Buysschaert I, Lambrechts D, Van de Werf F, Fox KA, El Mokhtari NE, Rubin D, Schrezenmeir J, Schreiber S, Schäfer A, Danesh J, Blankenberg S, Roberts R, McPherson R, Watkins H, Hall AS, Overvad K, Rimm E, Boerwinkle E, Tybjaerg-Hansen A, Cupples LA, Reilly MP, Melander O, Mannucci PM, Ardissino D, Siscovick D, Elosua R, Stefansson K, O'Donnell CJ, Salomaa V, Rader DJ, Peltonen L, Schwartz SM, Altshuler D, Kathiresan S. : Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study. The Lancet 380(9841): 572-580, Aug 2012.

Voight BF, Kang HM, Ding J, Palmer CD, Sidore C, Chines PS, Burtt NP, Fuchsberger C, Li Y, Erdmann J, Frayling TM, Heid IM, Jackson AU, Johnson T, Kilpeläinen TO, Lindgren CM, Morris AP, Prokopenko I, Randall JC, Saxena R, Soranzo N, Speliotes EK, Teslovich TM, Wheeler E, Maguire J, Parkin M, Potter S, Rayner NW, Robertson N, Stirrups K, Winckler W, Sanna S, Mulas A, Nagaraja R, Cucca F, Barroso I, Deloukas P, Loos RJ, Kathiresan S, Munroe PB, Newton-Cheh C, Pfeufer A, Samani NJ, Schunkert H, Hirschhorn JN, Altshuler D, McCarthy MI, Abecasis GR, Boehnke M.: The metabochip, a custom genotyping array for genetic studies of metabolic, cardiovascular, and anthropometric traits. PLoS Genetics 8(8): e1002793, Aug 2012.

Morris AP, Voight BF, Teslovich TM, Ferreira T, Segrè AV, Steinthorsdottir V, Strawbridge RJ, Khan H, Grallert H, Mahajan A, Prokopenko I, Kang HM, Dina C, Esko T, Fraser RM, Kanoni S, Kumar A, Lagou V, Langenberg C, Luan J, Lindgren CM, Müller-Nurasyid M, Pechlivanis S, Rayner NW, Scott LJ, Wiltshire S, Yengo L, Kinnunen L, Rossin EJ, Raychaudhuri S, Johnson AD, Dimas AS, Loos RJ, Vedantam S, Chen H, Florez JC, Fox C, Liu CT, Rybin D, Couper DJ, Kao WH, Li M, Cornelis MC, Kraft P, Sun Q, van Dam RM, Stringham HM, Chines PS, Fischer K, Fontanillas P, Holmen OL, Hunt SE, Jackson AU, Kong A, Lawrence R, Meyer J, Perry JR, Platou CG, Potter S, Rehnberg E, Robertson N, Sivapalaratnam S, Stančáková A, Stirrups K, Thorleifsson G, Tikkanen E, Wood AR, Almgren P, Atalay M, Benediktsson R, Bonnycastle LL, Burtt N, Carey J, Charpentier G, Crenshaw AT, Doney AS, Dorkhan M, Edkins S, Emilsson V, Eury E, Forsen T, Gertow K, Gigante B, Grant GB, Groves CJ, Guiducci C, Herder C, Hreidarsson AB, Hui J, James A, Jonsson A, Rathmann W, Klopp N, Kravic J, Krjutškov K, Langford C, Leander K, Lindholm E, Lobbens S, Männistö S, Mirza G, Mühleisen TW, Musk B, Parkin M, Rallidis L, Saramies J, Sennblad B, Shah S, Sigurðsson G, Silveira A, Steinbach G, Thorand B, Trakalo J, Veglia F, Wennauer R, Winckler W, Zabaneh D, Campbell H, van Duijn C, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Sijbrands E, Abecasis GR, Owen KR, Zeggini E, Trip MD, Forouhi NG, Syvänen AC, Eriksson JG, Peltonen L, Nöthen MM, Balkau B, Palmer CN, Lyssenko V, Tuomi T, Isomaa B, Hunter DJ, Qi L; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium; Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium (MAGIC) Investigators; Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium; Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network–Type 2 Diabetes (AGEN-T2D) Consortium; South Asian Type 2 Diabetes (SAT2D) Consortium, Shuldiner AR, Roden M, Barroso I, Wilsgaard T, Beilby J, Hovingh K, Price JF, Wilson JF, Rauramaa R, Lakka TA, Lind L, Dedoussis G, Njølstad I, Pedersen NL, Khaw KT, Wareham NJ, Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi SM, Saaristo TE, Korpi-Hyövälti E, Saltevo J, Laakso M, Kuusisto J, Metspalu A, Collins FS, Mohlke KL, Bergman RN, Tuomilehto J, Boehm BO, Gieger C, Hveem K, Cauchi S, Froguel P, Baldassarre D, Tremoli E, Humphries SE, Saleheen D, Danesh J, Ingelsson E, Ripatti S, Salomaa V, Erbel R, Jöckel KH, Moebus S, Peters A, Illig T, de Faire U, Hamsten A, Morris AD, Donnelly PJ, Frayling TM, Hattersley AT, Boerwinkle E, Melander O, Kathiresan S, Nilsson PM, Deloukas P, Thorsteinsdottir U, Groop LC, Stefansson K, Hu F, Pankow JS, Dupuis J, Meigs JB, Altshuler D, Boehnke M, McCarthy MI.: Large-scale association analysis provides insights into the genetic architecture and pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. Nature Genetics Aug 2012.

Georgi B, Voight BF, Bućan M: From mouse to human: evolutionary genomics analysis of human orthologs of essential genes. PLoS Genetics 9(5): e1003484, May 2013.

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Last updated: 04/18/2014
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