Jennifer E. Below, PhD


Associate Professor, Division of Genetic Medicine

Research Description

Jennifer (Piper) Below, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine with a primary appointment in the Division of Genetic Medicine within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Brief Description

Dr. Below is interested in developing and applying computational methodologies to further our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease. Recently, her efforts have focused on three areas: She has solved the problem of maximal unrelated set identification in arbitrarily large genetic datasets using a novel application of graph theory, and she is currently tackling the reverse problem of reconstructing pedigrees from estimates of genomic sharing. She is expanding this work to genetically heterogeneous and admixed populations. She has also worked through the Center for Mendelian Genomics to develop and apply methods to identify the genetic cause of Mendelian diseases using high-density next generation sequence data. Using linkage analysis in complex pedigrees and whole genome sequence data, she recently uncovered the genetic cause of several Mendelian disorders including a cranio-facial abnormality and a skeletal dysplasia. Dr. Below studies the genetics of complex traits. She works with the T2D-GENES Consortium, and specifically with the Starr County Mexican American population, to uncover novel susceptibility factors for type 2 diabetes and related complications.


Ph.D., Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
B.A., Mathematics, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota