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

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

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

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 Jan 14.
PMID: 33446603

Sex-specific differences in peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptional response to LPS are enriched for HLA region and X chromosome genes.
Stein MM, Conery M, Magnaye KM, Clay SM, Billstrand C, Nicolae R, Naughton K, Ober C, Thompson EE. Sex-specific differences in peripheral blood leukocyte transcriptional response to LPS are enriched for HLA region and X chromosome genes. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13; 11(1):1107.
PMID: 33441806

Two-stage genome-wide association study of chronic rhinosinusitis and disease subphenotypes highlights mucosal immunity contributing to risk.
Soliai M, Sundaresan AS, Morin A, Hirsch AG, Stanhope C, Kuiper J, Schwartz BS, Ober C, Pinto JM. Two-stage genome-wide association study of chronic rhinosinusitis and disease subphenotypes highlights mucosal immunity contributing to risk. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2021 Apr; 11(4):814-817.
PMID: 33393196

FUT2-ABO epistasis increases the risk of early childhood asthma and Streptococcus pneumoniae respiratory illnesses.
Ahluwalia TS, Eliasen AU, Sevelsted A, Pedersen CT, Stokholm J, Chawes B, Bork-Jensen J, Grarup N, Pedersen O, Hansen T, Linneberg A, Sharma A, Weiss ST, Evans MD, Jackson DJ, Morin A, Krogfelt KA, Schjørring S, Mortensen PB, Hougaard DM, Bybjerg-Grauholm J, Bækvad-Hansen M, Mors O, Nordentoft M, Børglum AD, Werge T, Agerbo E, Gern JE, Lemanske RF, Ober C, Pedersen AG, Bisgaard H, Bønnelykke K. FUT2-ABO epistasis increases the risk of early childhood asthma and Streptococcus pneumoniae respiratory illnesses. Nat Commun. 2020 12 16; 11(1):6398.
PMID: 33328473

Transcriptome and regulatory maps of decidua-derived stromal cells inform gene discovery in preterm birth.
Sakabe NJ, Aneas I, Knoblauch N, Sobreira DR, Clark N, Paz C, Horth C, Ziffra R, Kaur H, Liu X, Anderson R, Morrison J, Cheung VC, Grotegut C, Reddy TE, Jacobsson B, Hallman M, Teramo K, Murtha A, Kessler J, Grobman W, Zhang G, Muglia LJ, Rana S, Lynch VJ, Crawford GE, Ober C, He X, Nóbrega MA. Transcriptome and regulatory maps of decidua-derived stromal cells inform gene discovery in preterm birth. Sci Adv. 2020 Dec; 6(49).
PMID: 33268355

Altered transcriptional and chromatin responses to rhinovirus in bronchial epithelial cells from adults with asthma.
Helling BA, Sobreira DR, Hansen GT, Sakabe NJ, Luo K, Billstrand C, Laxman B, Nicolae RI, Nicolae DL, Bochkov YA, Gern JE, Nobrega MA, White SR, Ober C. Altered transcriptional and chromatin responses to rhinovirus in bronchial epithelial cells from adults with asthma. Commun Biol. 2020 11 13; 3(1):678.
PMID: 33188283

Longitudinal data reveal strong genetic and weak non-genetic components of ethnicity-dependent blood DNA methylation levels.
McKennan C, Naughton K, Stanhope C, Kattan M, O'Connor GT, Sandel MT, Visness CM, Wood RA, Bacharier LB, Beigelman A, Lovinsky-Desir S, Togias A, Gern JE, Nicolae D, Ober C. Longitudinal data reveal strong genetic and weak non-genetic components of ethnicity-dependent blood DNA methylation levels. Epigenetics. 2021 Jun; 16(6):662-676.
PMID: 32997571

Epigenome-wide association study of DNA methylation and adult asthma in the Agricultural Lung Health Study.
Hoang TT, Sikdar S, Xu CJ, Lee MK, Cardwell J, Forno E, Imboden M, Jeong A, Madore AM, Qi C, Wang T, Bennett BD, Ward JM, Parks CG, Beane-Freeman LE, King D, Motsinger-Reif A, Umbach DM, Wyss AB, Schwartz DA, Celedón JC, Laprise C, Ober C, Probst-Hensch N, Yang IV, Koppelman GH, London SJ. Epigenome-wide association study of DNA methylation and adult asthma in the Agricultural Lung Health Study. Eur Respir J. 2020 09; 56(3).
PMID: 32381493

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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