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Dr. Cristen J. Willer is an esteemed associate professor at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Willer is trained as a computational geneticist after completing a DPhil at the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics at Oxford, and postdoctoral fellowship in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan.  In 2010, Dr. Willer became a member of the University of Michigan’s Biological Sciences Scholars Program.  In 2015, Dr. Willer was awarded the Thomson-Reuters Highly Cited Researcher, top 1% of field.  Dr. Willer has published ~150 manuscripts, which have been cited over 35,00 times. 

Dr. Willer’s research is focused on the genetic basis of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and related traits in global human populations.  Dr. Willer is interested in identifying the full spectrum of disease–associated alleles using a variety of approaches including whole genome and exome sequencing, analysis of coding variation and unbiased surveys of common variation in the genome.  Dr. Willer has developed expertise in gene discovery, imputation of variants from population reference sets, meta-analysis of genetic data and visualization of genomic features.  She continues scientific research as principal investigator of the HUNT investigation of genetic basis of cardiovascular disease, Cardiovascular Health Improvement Project (CHIP), Michigan Racial Equality and Cardiovascular Health (M-REACH) at the University of Michigan