Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania

Who we are


Christopher Brown PhD, Assistant Professor

Casey received his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska. He was a graduate student with Arend Sidow in the Genetics Department at Stanford University. He conducted his post-doctoral research in Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. He moved to Philadelphia in 2013 and has never seen so many pretzels. He is interested in understanding the role of gene expression variation in complex human phenotypes and insists that his lab be in control of both the means of data production and analysis. A recentish CV is here.

Minal Caliskan PhD, Post-doctoral fellow

Minal obtained a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Boğaziçi University (2007). She completed her Ph.D. in Human Genetics at the University of Chicago (2013), where she worked on genotype by environment interactions that influence asthma and gene expression under the supervision of Dr. Carole Ober. Minal's research focuses on identifying and characterizing functional noncoding variation in the human genome, with an emphasis on liver gene expression, lipid metabolism, and cardiovascular disease.

YoSon Park PhD, Post-doctoral fellow

YoSon earned a B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology as well as a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Miami. As a Ph.D. student she worked with Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, developing and applying methods to understand the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric phenotypes. YoSon's current research is focused on characterizing the causal role of regulatory variation in human complex traits.

Katerina Gawronski, Graduate student

Katerina received her B.S. in Neuroscience From the University of Michigan in 2015, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Margit Burmeister. She is now jointly advised by Casey and Ben Voight. Her research is focused on developing computational and experimental methods to characterize the contribution of post transcriptional regulation to human complex complex trait variation.

Julian Segert, PREP scholar

Julian obtained a B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College in 2017. He completed his honor's thesis research in the Brown lab and has continued on in the lab as a post-baccalaureate student in Penn's PREP program. His research focuses on identifying genetic variants associated with histone modification state in the liver.

Grace Babcock, Research Specialist

Grace Babcock graduated from Temple University in 2009 with a B.A. in Anthropology and spent the spent the following three years working as a Research Specialist in the Penn Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. She obtained an M.P.H. from Penn in 2015.


Marco Trizzino PhD

Marco is a biologist with interest in evolutionary and functional genomics, with particular focus on the non-coding side of the genome. He obtained his B.S. in Biology from Bicocca University in Milan. Then he earned an M.S. in Evolutionary Biology and a Ph.D. in Animal Biology at Sapienza University, Rome. Marco's research in the lab was focused on regulatory, gene expression, and epigenomic evolution in primates. Marco is now working as a postdoc in Dr. Alessandro Gardini’s lab in the Gene Expression and Regulation Department at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. Visit Marco’s personal webpage here.

Katherine Aracena

Katie received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia in 2016, where she worked in the lab of Dr. Benjamin Blackman. From 2016 to 2017, Katie was a PREP scholar in the Brown lab. Her research focused on functionally characterizing human specific cis-regulatory elements in the liver. She is now a Ph.D. student in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.

Interested in joining our team? Contact Casey and we can talk shop.