Joel Hirschhorn is an associate professor of genetics at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute. Together with Vamsi Mootha, he coordinates the Broad Institute’s Metabolism Program. Joel’s research focuses on applying laboratory and computational methods to study the genetics of human polygenic traits — diseases and quantitative phenotypes that are influenced by multiple genetic and non-genetic factors. His lab has a major focus on anthropometric measures of obesity and stature (a model complex trait). Other diseases and traits under study include asthma, diabetic nephropathy, sickle cell disease, and timing of puberty. Joel and his colleagues are also interested in the impact of human evolutionary history on polygenic traits and diseases.
In 1986, Joel received his A.B. summa cum laude in biochemistry from Harvard College and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard Medical School in 1995. For his Ph.D. work, he employed yeast genetics to study chromatin structure and transcription with Fred Winston. He completed his postdoctoral training with Eric Lander at the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, where he developed and implemented tools and methods to perform and interpret genetic association studies, including genotyping technologies and analytic methods.
You can read more about the Hirschhorn laboratory here.