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Webinar information

Join us for a webinar "Epigenetic Analyses of Human Left Atrial Tissue Identifies Gene Networks Underlying Atrial Fibrillation" on January 28, 2020 at 11AM EST to learn from Dr. Amelia Hall, PhD, Research Fellow at the Broad Institute.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) often arises from structural abnormalities in the left atria (LA). Annotation of the noncoding genome in human LA is limited, as are effects on gene expression and chromatin architecture. Many AF-associated genetic variants reside in noncoding regions; this knowledge gap impairs efforts to understand the molecular mechanisms of AF and cardiac conduction phenotypes.

We generated a model of the LA noncoding genome by profiling 7 histone post-translational modifications (active: H3K4me3, H3K4me2, H3K4me1, H3K27ac, H3K36me3; repressive: H3K27me3, H3K9me3), CTCF binding, and gene expression in samples from 5 individuals without structural heart disease or AF. Our model identified 21 epigenetic states, encompassing regulatory motifs, such as promoters, enhancers, and repressed regions. We identified over 15 000 LA-specific enhancers, defined by homeobox family motifs, and annotated several cardiovascular disease susceptibility loci. Intersecting AF and PR genome-wide association studies loci with long-range chromatin conformation data identified a gene interaction network dominated by NKX2-5, TBX3, ZFHX3,and SYNPO2L.

Amelia Weber Hall is a computational biology Research Fellow in Medical and Population Genetics, and a member of the Ellinor Lab. She performs functional genomics experiments at the bench, in addition to data analysis for a number of projects. Her work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of phenotype variation originating from the non-coding genome.

Prior to joining the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2017, Hall was first a research technician, and then a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work as a technician focused on incorporating non-natural amino acids into the calcium signaling protein calmodulin. As a graduate student, her research centered on building models of chromatin and transcription in primary glioblastoma samples. Hall holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. in molecular genetics from the University of Rochester.

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