The Wall Lab at Stanford University

‹ Back

Email: chloe.oconnell / stanford, edu

Chloe O'Connell

Medical Student Researcher

Chloe is joining the lab this summer to investigate the role of eQTLs and sex differences in the genetics of autism. As an undergrad at Brown University, she worked on a pathways-based analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder GWAS data to identify gene sets of potential significance in these disorders. After completing her honors thesis on approach and avoidance learning in OCD and graduating in 2012, she spent a year teaching and tutoring at the Match Charter Public High School in Boston before entering Stanford Medical School in the fall of 2013.

Currently, she is interested in potential sex differences in the genetic architecture of autism. Specifically, she aims to use eQTL data from brain tissue to focus in on potential genetic variants that may confer risk for autism. By limiting hypotheses of genetic tests to variants with plausible biological mechanisms of causality, the hope is to limit false positives and improve the power of testing. She is also interested in the sex-specific nature of the disorder (autism is 4x more common in males than it is in females). She plans to use eQTL data to conduct sex-specific analyses of autism genetic data to investigate whether different genes are associated with the disorder in males vs. females.

While not working or studying, Chloe loves to bike, run, and hike. She also loves to swim, but is so terrible at it that she is taking a swimming class at Stanford this summer with the hopes that she will be able to officially call it a hobby.