Carole Ober, PhD

The research goals of my laboratory are to identify genetic variants that influence gene expression and epigenetic marks in tissues relevant to complex phenotypes and common diseases, in particular those related to asthma, allergy and preterm birth. 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.

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
PhD - Biological Anthropology

George Washington University
Washington, D.C.
BA - Anthropology

Asthma-associated genetic variants induce IL33 differential expression through an enhancer-blocking regulatory region.
Aneas I, Decker DC, Howard CL, Sobreira DR, Sakabe NJ, Blaine KM, Stein MM, Hrusch CL, Montefiori LE, Tena J, Magnaye KM, Clay SM, Gern JE, Jackson DJ, Altman MC, Naureckas ET, Hogarth DK, White SR, Gomez-Skarmeta JL, Schoetler N, Ober C, Sperling AI, Nóbrega MA. Asthma-associated genetic variants induce IL33 differential expression through an enhancer-blocking regulatory region. Nat Commun. 2021 10 21; 12(1):6115.
PMID: 34675193

Multi-omics colocalization with genome-wide association studies reveals a context-specific genetic mechanism at a childhood onset asthma risk locus.
Soliai MM, Kato A, Helling BA, Stanhope CT, Norton JE, Naughton KA, Klinger AI, Thompson EE, Clay SM, Kim S, Celedón JC, Gern JE, Jackson DJ, Altman MC, Kern RC, Tan BK, Schleimer RP, Nicolae DL, Pinto JM, Ober C. Multi-omics colocalization with genome-wide association studies reveals a context-specific genetic mechanism at a childhood onset asthma risk locus. Genome Med. 2021 10 10; 13(1):157.
PMID: 34629083

Multiethnic genome-wide and HLA association study of total serum IgE level.
Daya M, Cox C, Acevedo N, Boorgula MP, Campbell M, Chavan S, Cho MH, David GL, Kachroo P, Lasky-Su J, Li X, McHugh CP, Qiao D, Rafaels N, Beck LA, Bleecker ER, Caraballo L, Cupples AL, Figueiredo CA, Gallo RL, Hanifin J, Hansel NN, Hata TR, Hersh CP, Knight-Madden J, Leung DYM, Guttman-Yassky E, Meyers DA, O'Connor G, Ober C, Ong PY, Ortega VE, Paller AS, Putcha N, Reed RM, Schneider LC, Silverman EK, Slifka MK, Spergel JM, Vasan RS, Viaud-Martinez KA, Watson H, Weiss ST. Multiethnic genome-wide and HLA association study of total serum IgE level. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 12; 148(6):1589-1595.
PMID: 34536413

A functional genomics pipeline identifies pleiotropy and cross-tissue effects within obesity-associated GWAS loci.
Joslin AC, Sobreira DR, Hansen GT, Sakabe NJ, Aneas I, Montefiori LE, Farris KM, Gu J, Lehman DM, Ober C, He X, Nóbrega MA. A functional genomics pipeline identifies pleiotropy and cross-tissue effects within obesity-associated GWAS loci. Nat Commun. 2021 09 06; 12(1):5253.
PMID: 34489471

Establishment of human induced trophoblast stem-like cells from term villous cytotrophoblasts.
Bai T, Peng CY, Aneas I, Sakabe N, Requena DF, Billstrand C, Nobrega M, Ober C, Parast M, Kessler JA. Establishment of human induced trophoblast stem-like cells from term villous cytotrophoblasts. Stem Cell Res. 2021 10; 56:102507.
PMID: 34454392

A-to-I editing of miR-200b-3p in airway cells is associated with moderate-to-severe asthma.
Magnaye KM, Naughton KA, Huffman J, Hogarth DK, Naureckas ET, White SR, Ober C. A-to-I editing of miR-200b-3p in airway cells is associated with moderate-to-severe asthma. Eur Respir J. 2021 07; 58(1).
PMID: 33446603

Genome-wide association study identifies TNFSF15 associated with childhood asthma.
Kim KW, Kim DY, Yoon D, Kim KK, Jang H, Schoettler N, Kim EG, Kim MN, Hong JY, Lee JK, Kim S, Ober C, Gee HY, Sohn MH. Genome-wide association study identifies TNFSF15 associated with childhood asthma. Allergy. 2022 01; 77(1):218-229.
PMID: 34022066

Extensive pleiotropism and allelic heterogeneity mediate metabolic effects of IRX3 and IRX5.
Sobreira DR, Joslin AC, Zhang Q, Williamson I, Hansen GT, Farris KM, Sakabe NJ, Sinnott-Armstrong N, Bozek G, Jensen-Cody SO, Flippo KH, Ober C, Bickmore WA, Potthoff M, Chen M, Claussnitzer M, Aneas I, Nóbrega MA. Extensive pleiotropism and allelic heterogeneity mediate metabolic effects of IRX3 and IRX5. Science. 2021 06 04; 372(6546):1085-1091.
PMID: 34083488

Inducible expression quantitative trait locus analysis of the MUC5AC gene in asthma in urban populations of children.
Altman MC, Flynn K, Rosasco MG, Dapas M, Kattan M, Lovinsky-Desir S, O'Connor GT, Gill MA, Gruchalla RS, Liu AH, Pongracic JA, Khurana Hershey GK, Zoratti EM, Teach SJ, Rastrogi D, Wood RA, Bacharier LB, LeBeau P, Gergen PJ, Togias A, Busse WW, Presnell S, Gern JE, Ober C, Jackson DJ. Inducible expression quantitative trait locus analysis of the MUC5AC gene in asthma in urban populations of children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 12; 148(6):1505-1514.
PMID: 34019912

Chromosome 17q12-21 Variants Are Associated with Multiple Wheezing Phenotypes in Childhood.
Hallmark B, Wegienka G, Havstad S, Billheimer D, Ownby D, Mendonca EA, Gress L, Stern DA, Myers JB, Khurana Hershey GK, Hoepner L, Miller RL, Lemanske RF, Jackson DJ, Gold DR, O'Connor GT, Nicolae DL, Gern JE, Ober C, Wright AL, Martinez FD. Chromosome 17q12-21 Variants Are Associated with Multiple Wheezing Phenotypes in Childhood. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 04 01; 203(7):864-870.
PMID: 33535024

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Distinguished Service Professor
University of Chicago
2018

Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award for Research
March of Dimes
2017

Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award
Clinical Research Forum
2017

John E. Salvaggio Memorial Lectureship
American Association of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
2015

Reuben M. Cherniak Lecturer
Petty Aspen Lung Conference
2015

Fellow
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2014

Named Blum-Riese Professor
University of Chicago
2010

Northwestern Obstetrics and Gynecology Award
Northwestern University Medical School
2005

Charles Reed Lectureship
American Association of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (AAAAI)
2005

J. Christian Herr Award for Excellence in Basic or Applied Research in Reproductive Immunology
American Society of Reproductive Immunology (ASRI)
1996