Todd L. Edwards, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Medicine
Ph.D., Human Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeM.S., Human Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.S., Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Office Address
Suite 600
2525 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
Research Description
Discovering the genetic determinants of complex diseases is a multidisciplinary endeavor, featuring elements of biology, epidemiology, computer science, and statistics. My research is focused on studying the heritable factors that modulate the risk of diseases, and developing statistical methods and software that make these investigations more efficient. To accomplish the goals of my laboratory, a combination of statistical techniques are applied to test hypotheses in large-scale genetic data from populations of persons at risk for several traits, such as obesity, hypertension, blood pressure, body mass index, colorectal cancer, colorectal polyps, and endometrial cancer. My laboratory works with genetic data from several populations, including African Americans, Chinese from Shanghai, and community-based studies in the Nashville area. Additionally, my laboratory employs high-performance computational resources at Vanderbilt to simulate genetic data from human populations in which to model disease genes and evaluate novel statistical techniques. Currently my laboratory is developing procedures and statistical techniques for designing efficient next-generation sequencing experiments to follow up or augment discoveries from genome-wide association studies. Accomplishing these goals requires familiarity with epidemiologic study design, population genetics, and currently available technology. Members of my laboratory would have many opportunities to develop projects either studying complex genetic traits, developing statistical methods for current and future studies, or a combination of both. Our objectives will be to make contributions to public health and basic science through the study of genetic epidemiology.
Research Keywords
I perform research to develop statistical approaches and discover the genetic determinants of traits in diverse human populations.
Edwards TL, Li C. Optimized selection of unrelated subjects for whole-genome sequencing studies of rare high-penetrance alleles. Genet. Epidemiol [print-electronic]. 2012 Jul; 36(5): 472-9. PMID: 22623060, PMCID: PMC3738264, DOI: 10.1002/gepi.21641, ISSN: 1098-2272.

Edwards TL, Shrubsole MJ, Cai Q, Li G, Dai Q, Rex DK, Ulbright TM, Fu Z, Murff HJ, Smalley W, Ness R, Zheng W. A study of prostaglandin pathway genes and interactions with current nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in colorectal adenoma. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) [print-electronic]. 2012 Jun; 5(6): 855-63. PMID: 22551900, PMCID: PMC3789595, PII: 1940-6207.CAPR-11-0459, DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0459, ISSN: 1940-6215.

Edwards TL, Gao X. Methods for detecting and correcting for population stratification. Curr Protoc Hum Genet. 2012 Apr; Chapter 1: Unit 1.22.1-14. PMID: 22470140, DOI: 10.1002/0471142905.hg0122s73, ISSN: 1934-8258.

Jia P, Wang L, Fanous AH, Pato CN, Edwards TL, , Zhao Z. Network-assisted investigation of combined causal signals from genome-wide association studies in schizophrenia. PLoS Comput. Biol [print-electronic]. 2012; 8(7): e1002587. PMID: 22792057, PMCID: PMC3390381, PII: PCOMPBIOL-D-11-01621, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002587, ISSN: 1553-7358.

Edwards TL, Velez Edwards DR, Villegas R, Cohen SS, Buchowski MS, Fowke JH, Schlundt D, Long J, Cai Q, Zheng W, Shu XO, Hargreaves MK, Smith J, Williams SM, Signorello LB, Blot WJ, Matthews CE. HTR1B, ADIPOR1, PPARGC1A, and CYP19A1 and obesity in a cohort of Caucasians and African Americans: an evaluation of gene-environment interactions and candidate genes. Am. J. Epidemiol [print-electronic]. 2012 Jan 1/1/2012; 175(1): 11-21. PMID: 22106445, PMCID: PMC3244609, PII: kwr272, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr272, ISSN: 1476-6256.

Villegas R, Williams S, Gao Y, Cai Q, Li H, Elasy T, Cai H, Edwards T, Xiang YB, Zheng W, Long J, Ou Shu X. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD) genetic variation and type 2 diabetes in middle-aged Chinese women. Ann. Hum. Genet. 2011 Sep; 75(5): 621-9. PMID: 21834910, PMCID: PMC3189704, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2011.00669.x, ISSN: 1469-1809.

Edwards TL, Song Z, Li C. Enriching targeted sequencing experiments for rare disease alleles. Bioinformatics [print-electronic]. 2011 Aug 8/1/2011; 27(15): 2112-8. PMID: 21700677, PMCID: PMC3137214, PII: btr324, DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr324, ISSN: 1367-4811.

Hennig BJ, Velez-Edwards DR, Schim van der Loeff MF, Bisseye C, Edwards TL, Tacconelli A, Novelli G, Aaby P, Kaye S, Scott WK, Jaye A, Whittle HC, Williams SM, Hill AV, Sirugo G. CD4 intragenic SNPs associate with HIV-2 plasma viral load and CD4 count in a community-based study from Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 2011 Jan 1/1/2011; 56(1): 1-8. PMID: 20924289, DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181f638ed, ISSN: 1944-7884.

Bademci G, Edwards TL, Torres AL, Scott WK, Züchner S, Martin ER, Vance JM, Wang L. A rare novel deletion of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in Parkinson disease. Hum. Mutat. 2010 Oct; 31(10): E1767-71. PMID: 20809526, PMCID: PMC3025121, DOI: 10.1002/humu.21351, ISSN: 1098-1004.

Edwards TL, Scott WK, Almonte C, Burt A, Powell EH, Beecham GW, Wang L, Züchner S, Konidari I, Wang G, Singer C, Nahab F, Scott B, Stajich JM, Pericak-Vance M, Haines J, Vance JM, Martin ER. Genome-wide association study confirms SNPs in SNCA and the MAPT region as common risk factors for Parkinson disease. Ann. Hum. Genet [print-electronic]. 2010 Mar; 74(2): 97-109. PMID: 20070850, PMCID: PMC2853717, PII: AHG560, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2009.00560.x, ISSN: 1469-1809.

Edwards TL, Torstensen E, Dudek S, Martin ER, Ritchie MD. A cross-validation procedure for general pedigrees and matched odds ratio fitness metric implemented for the multifactor dimensionality reduction pedigree disequilibrium test. Genet. Epidemiol. 2010 Feb; 34(2): 194-9. PMID: 19697353, PMCID: PMC2811750, DOI: 10.1002/gepi.20447, ISSN: 1098-2272.

Edwards TL, Turner SD, Torstenson ES, Dudek SM, Martin ER, Ritchie MD. A general framework for formal tests of interaction after exhaustive search methods with applications to MDR and MDR-PDT. PLoS ONE. 2010; 5(2): e9363. PMID: 20186329, PMCID: PMC2826406, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009363, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Gao X, Edwards TL. Population Stratification, Adjustment for. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. 2010.

Edwards TL, Pericak-Vance M, Gilbert JR, Haines JL, Martin ER, Ritchie MD. An association analysis of Alzheimer disease candidate genes detects an ancestral risk haplotype clade in ACE and putative multilocus association between ACE, A2M, and LRRTM3. Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2009 Jul 7/5/2009; 150B(5): 721-35. PMID: 19105203, PMCID: PMC2821734, DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30899, ISSN: 1552-485X.

Chen X, Sun C, Chen Q, O'Neill FA, Walsh D, Fanous AH, Chowdari KV, Nimgaonkar VL, Scott A, Schwab SG, Wildenauer DB, Che R, Tang W, Shi Y, He L, Luo XJ, Su B, Edwards TL, Zhao Z, Kendler KS. Apoptotic engulfment pathway and schizophrenia. PLoS ONE. 2009; 4(9): e6875. PMID: 19721717, PMCID: PMC2731162, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006875, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Edwards TL, Lewis K, Velez DR, Dudek S, Ritchie MD. Exploring the performance of Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction in large scale SNP studies and in the presence of genetic heterogeneity among epistatic disease models. Hum. Hered [print-electronic]. 2009; 67(3): 183-92. PMID: 19077437, PMCID: PMC3078287, PII: 000181157, DOI: 10.1159/000181157, ISSN: 1423-0062.

Edwards TL, Wang X, Chen Q, Wormly B, Riley B, O'Neill FA, Walsh D, Ritchie MD, Kendler KS, Chen X. Interaction between interleukin 3 and dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 in schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2008 Dec; 106(2-3): 208-17. PMID: 18804346, PMCID: PMC2746913, PII: S0920-9964(08)00342-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.07.022, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Velez DR, Fortunato SJ, Morgan N, Edwards TL, Lombardi SJ, Williams SM, Menon R. Patterns of cytokine profiles differ with pregnancy outcome and ethnicity. Hum. Reprod [print-electronic]. 2008 Aug; 23(8): 1902-9. PMID: 18487217, PII: den170, DOI: 10.1093/humrep/den170, ISSN: 1460-2350.

Bush WS, Edwards TL, Dudek SM, McKinney BA, Ritchie MD. Alternative contingency table measures improve the power and detection of multifactor dimensionality reduction. BMC Bioinformatics. 2008; 9: 238. PMID: 18485205, PMCID: PMC2412877, PII: 1471-2105-9-238, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-9-238, ISSN: 1471-2105.

Ritchie MD, Edwards TL, Fanelli TJ, Motsinger AA. Genetic heterogeneity is not as threatening as you might think [letter]. Genet. Epidemiol. 2007 Nov; 31(7): 797-800. PMID: 17654613, DOI: 10.1002/gepi.20256, ISSN: 0741-0395.

Ritchie MD, Bartlett J, Bush WS, Edwards TL, Motsinger AA, Torstenson ES. Exploring epistasis in candidate genes for rheumatoid arthritis. BMC Proc [print-electronic]. 2007; 1 Suppl 1: S70. PMID: 18466572, PMCID: PMC2367541, ISSN: 1753-6561.

Bartlett CW, Vieland VJ, Bartlett J, Bell JT, Bhattacharjee S, Clerget-Darpoux F, Bush WS, Edwards TL, Gao G, Halder I, Huang Y, Kotti S, Larkin EK, Li H, Motsinger AA, Mukhopadhyay N, Namkung J, Park T, Ritchie MD, Stein CM, Zhou JY. Discussing gene-gene interaction: warning--translating equations to English may result in jabberwocky. Genet. Epidemiol. 2007; 31 Suppl 1: S61-7. PMID: 18046759, DOI: 10.1002/gepi.20281, ISSN: 0741-0395.

Solus JF, Arietta BJ, Harris JR, Sexton DP, Steward JQ, McMunn C, Ihrie P, Mehall JM, Edwards TL, Dawson EP. Genetic variation in eleven phase I drug metabolism genes in an ethnically diverse population. Pharmacogenomics. 2004 Oct; 5(7): 895-931. PMID: 15469410, PII: PGS050712, DOI: 10.1517/14622416.5.7.895, ISSN: 1462-2416.