Carole Ober, Ph.D.

Professor, Chair of the Department of Human Genetics

Office address: CLSC 507C
Telephone number: 773 834 0735


Lab Webpage

Research Description

The research goals of my laboratory are to identify genetic variants that influence methylation and gene expression in tissues relevant to complex phenotypes and common diseases, in particular those related to asthma, chronic rhinosinutsitis (CRS), and fertility and parturition. To this end we are using both freshly isolated cells and tissues and cell culture models of gene-environment interactions to dissect the genetic architecture of common diseases. Our studies are conducted in founder populations, the Hutterites of South Dakota and the Amish of northern Indiana, in U.S. and European birth cohorts, and in patient populations from Chicago.

Selected Publications

Immune development and environment: lessons from Amish and Hutterite children.
Ober C, Sperling AI, von Mutius E, Vercelli D
(2017 Oct) Curr Opin Immunol. 2017 Oct;48:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 29. 28843541 (Full Text)

Elevated levels of soluble humanleukocyte antigen-G in the airways are a marker for a low-inflammatory endotype of asthma.
White SR, Nicodemus-Johnson J, Laxman B, Denner DR, Naureckas ET, Hogarth DK, Stern R, Minc A, Solway J, Sperling A, Ober C
(2017 Sep) J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Sep;140(3):857-860. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.02.031. Epub 2017 Mar 28. 28363527 (Full Text)

Host genetic variation in mucosal immunity pathways influences the upper airway microbiome.
Igartua C, Davenport ER, Gilad Y, Nicolae DL, Pinto J, Ober C
(2017 Feb) Microbiome. 2017 Feb 1;5(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s40168-016-0227-5. 28143570 (Full Text)

DNA methylation in lung cells is associated with asthma endotypes and genetic risk.
Nicodemus-Johnson J, Myers RA, Sakabe NJ, Sobreira DR, Hogarth DK, Naureckas ET, Sperling AI, Solway J, White SR, Nobrega MA, Nicolae DL, Gilad Y, Ober C
(2016 Dec) JCI Insight. 2016 Dec 8;1(20):e90151. 27942592 (Full Text)

Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children.
Stein MM, Hrusch CL, Gozdz J, Igartua C, Pivniouk V, Murray SE, Ledford JG, Marques Dos Santos M, Anderson RL, Metwali N, Neilson JW, Maier RM, Gilbert JA, Holbreich M, Thorne PS, Martinez FD, von Mutius E, Vercelli D, Ober C, Sperling AI
(2016 Aug) N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 4;375(5):411-421. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1508749. 27518660 (Full Text)

Expression Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping Studies in Mid-secretory Phase Endometrial Cells Identifies HLA-F and TAP2 as Fecundability-Associated Genes.
Burrows CK, Kosova G, Herman C, Patterson K, Hartmann KE, Velez Edwards DR, Stephenson MD, Lynch VJ, Ober C
(2016 Jul) PLoS Genet. 2016 Jul 22;12(7):e1005858. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005858. eCollection 2016 Jul. 27447835 (Full Text)

Genome-Wide Methylation Study Identifies an IL-13-induced Epigenetic Signature in Asthmatic Airways.
Nicodemus-Johnson J, Naughton KA, Sudi J, Hogarth K, Naurekas ET, Nicolae DL, Sperling AI, Solway J, White SR, Ober C
(2016 Feb) Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Feb 15;193(4):376-85. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201506-1243OC. 26474238 (Full Text)

Host genetic variation influences gene expression response to rhinovirus infection.
Caliskan M, Baker SW, Gilad Y, Ober C
(2015 Apr) PLoS Genet. 2015 Apr 13;11(4):e1005111. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005111. eCollection 2015 Apr. 25874939 (Full Text)

Evolutionary forward genomics reveals novel insights into the genes and pathways dysregulated in recurrent early pregnancy loss.
Kosova G, Stephenson MD, Lynch VJ, Ober C
(2015 Mar) Hum Reprod. 2015 Mar;30(3):519-29. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu355. Epub 2015 Jan 12. 25586782 (Full Text)

PRIMAL: Fast and accurate pedigree-based imputation from sequence data in a founder population.
Livne OE, Han L, Alkorta-Aranburu G, Wentworth-Sheilds W, Abney M, Ober C, Nicolae DL
(2015 Mar) PLoS Comput Biol. 2015 Mar 3;11(3):e1004139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004139. eCollection 2015 Mar. 25735005 (Full Text)

Ethnic-specific associations of rare and low-frequency DNA sequence variants with asthma.
Igartua C et al.
(2015 Jan) Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 16;6:5965. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6965. 25591454 (Full Text)

Genome-wide interaction studies reveal sex-specific asthma risk alleles.
Myers RA et al.
(2014 Oct) Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Oct 1;23(19):5251-9. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu222. Epub 2014 May 13. 24824216 (Full Text)

Genome-wide association study of lung function phenotypes in a founder population.
Yao TC, Du G, Han L, Sun Y, Hu D, Yang JJ, Mathias R, Roth LA, Rafaels N, Thompson EE, Loisel DA, Anderson R, Eng C, Arruabarrena Orbegozo M, Young M, Klocksieben JM, Anderson E, Shanovich K, Lester LA, Williams LK, Barnes KC, Burchard EG, Nicolae DL, Abney M, Ober C
(2014 Jan) J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jan;133(1):248-55.e1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.06.018. Epub 2013 Aug 6. 23932459 (Full Text)

Maternal asthma and microRNA regulation of soluble HLA-G in the airway.
Nicodemus-Johnson J, Laxman B, Stern RK, Sudi J, Tierney CN, Norwick L, Hogarth DK, McConville JF, Naureckas ET, Sperling AI, Solway J, Krishnan JA, Nicolae DL, White SR, Ober C
(2013 Jun) J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jun;131(6):1496-503. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.01.037. Epub 2013 Mar 25. 23534973 (Full Text)

Rhinovirus wheezing illness and genetic risk of childhood-onset asthma.
Caliskan M, Bochkov YA, Kreiner-Moller E, Bonnelykke K, Stein MM, Du G, Bisgaard H, Jackson DJ, Gern JE, Lemanske RF Jr, Nicolae DL, Ober C
(2013 Apr) N Engl J Med. 2013 Apr 11;368(15):1398-407. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1211592. Epub 2013 Mar 27. 23534543 (Full Text)

A population-based study of autosomal-recessive disease-causing mutations in a founder population.
Chong JX, Ouwenga R, Anderson RL, Waggoner DJ, Ober C
(2012 Oct) Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Oct 5;91(4):608-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Sep 13. 22981120 (Full Text)

Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of asthma in ethnically diverse North American populations.
Torgerson DG et al.
(2011 Jul) Nat Genet. 2011 Jul 31;43(9):887-92. doi: 10.1038/ng.888. 21804549 (Full Text)