Welcome to the McGrath lab at Georgia Tech

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Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.45.32 PMMost biological traits have a strong genetic, or heritable, component.  Understanding how genetic variation influences these phenotypes will be important for understanding common, heritable diseases like autism. However, the genetic architecture controlling most biological traits is incredibly complex – hundreds of interacting genes and variants combine in unknown ways to create phenotype. The McGrath lab is interested in using fundamental mechanistic studies in C. elegans to identify, predict, and understand how genetic variation impacts the function of the nervous system. We are studying laboratory adapted strains and harnessing directed evolution experiments to understand how genetic changes affect development, reproduction, and lifespan. We combine quantitative genetics, CRISPR/Cas9, genomics, and computational approaches to address these questions. We believe this work will lead to insights into evolution, multigenic disease, and systems biology.


Recent Posts

McGrath receive R01 to work on mechanistically understanding age-dependent genetic architecture

GMS_Logo - Vertical Lockup - SpotMcGrath lab has been awarded a prestigious R01 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to work on understanding the mechanisms behind the extensive effects of genetic epistasis and organismal age on complex mixture of common and rare variants that shape most biological traits. Improved understanding of these processes could identify principals useful for predicting how causal factors act in novel genetic backgrounds and therapeutic techniques to take advantage of their non-linear effects to ameliorate disease. The broad objective of the proposed research is the identification of causative genetic variants affecting reproduction in C. elegans with age- dependent effect sizes and epistatic interactions. Once in hand, we will mechanistically dissect their causes in the context of organ and multicellular circuit function. We will study how life history changes in sperm number, a limited resource necessary for reproduction, creates age-dependent genetic architecture. Finally we will study how epistasis and aging are shaped by the function of the underlying neural circuit responsible for regulation of reproduction. These experiments will leverage C. elegans tractability to identify principles relevant to the study of human diseases.

  1. McGrath and Lu lab receive R21 to develop SWADE Leave a reply
  2. McGrath and Lu lab receive IBB seed grant to develop novel directed evolution approaches Leave a reply
  3. Paper published in Lab on a Chip Leave a reply
  4. Patrick awarded Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award Leave a reply
  5. Review paper published in Current Opinion in Neurobiology Leave a reply
  6. New lab in town Comments Off on New lab in town