Research Roundup: June 2020

stack of books
GCB News

Research Roundup: June 2020

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by GCB faculty in June 2020:

New tools and methods

Andrew Allen collaborated with Fan Li of the Yale School of Public Health to revisit their weighting-based estimator to offer new insights and methodological extensions. Read more 

Bruce Donald’s lab created algorithms to use with OSPREY (Open Source Protein Redesign for You), a software suite the lab developed to create a protein to protein interface with a strong binding affinity. This is the first step towards possibly creating a drug that could be used to treat difficult-to-treat cancers like pancreatic cancer. Read more 

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the US. David Hsu, Xiling Shen and team developed a precision medicine strategy for patients with metastatic CRC. Read more


Fat distribution is an independent cardiometabolic risk factor. However, its molecular and cellular underpinnings remain obscure. John Rawls was part of a team that demonstrated that two independent genome-wide association studies signals at RSPO3, which are associated with increased body mass index-adjusted waist-to-hip ratio, act to specifically increase RSPO3 expression in subcutaneous adipocytes. Read more

John Rawls is also part of a research team launching “Hearts and Parks,” a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a clinic-community collaboration to treat childhood obesity. Read more 

Reliability and Reproduceability 

Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt were part of a team that investigated the reliability of using functional MRI to measure brain activity. Read more


With the help of the Genomic Analysis and Bioinformatics core facility, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie Moffitt and team used the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study to investigate whether childhood neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with differences in DNA methylation by adulthood. Read more


Jenny Tung and team highlight how functional genomic research in other primates not only catalogues cases of human similarity and divergence but also identifies the sources of variances and major ecological and evolutionary processes that shape gene regulation. Read more 

Related News

stack of books

Research Roundup: February 2021

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by GCB faculty in February 2021:

John Rawls

Rawls elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Duke scientists John Franklin Rawls, Ph.D., is among 65 new fellows elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi in lab

Growing evidence that mentally ill youths become less healthy adults

Youth mental-health interventions could prevent physical illness and social costs

By Karl Leif Bates