Carter Wright

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biotechnology Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

Paul Wolf

Committee Member

Jerome Baudry

Committee Member

Richard M. Myers

Committee Member

Joseph Ng


Genomics, Gene mapping, Pancreas--Cancer--Genetic aspects, Dementia--Genetic aspects


Genomic technologies are used to analyze genetic information. The work described focused on multiple sequencing applications to evaluate the impact of genetic variation in patients with disease. Whole genome sequencing, RNA-sequencing, and ChIP-sequencing were performed to identify variants, understand gene expression, and determine the differences in chromatin structure that contribute to cellular and organismal phenotypes. My thesis work describes the use of computational tools to analyze genomic data with the goal of understanding acquired genetic and epigenetic variation in cancer as well as inherited variation associated with rare neurological disease. Whole genome sequencing yielded a diagnostic rate of 53 percent in patients with rare disease. In our pancreatic cancer study, I identified genes that are regulated by HDAC1 overexpression and contribute to drug resistance. This work revealed an improved mechanistic understanding of the role of HDAC1 in chemoresistance and nominated GTPase genes as potential therapeutic targets. Both studies show how advancing genomic technologies can be used to study human disease.



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