Maja Tarailo-Graovac

Associate Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Member

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Genomics Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Molecular and Development Genetics

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


Contact information


Research and teaching

Research Activities

My research program uses multidisciplinary approach (human and model organism genomics; ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ lab approaches) to understand the genomics of rare human disorders. As I continue to work on improving the diagnostic potential of genome-wide sequencing (e.g. detection of ‘all’ classes of genetic variation in a single test and discovery of novel gene-disease associations), I seek to understand genetic contributors to phenotypic variability in rare disorders. Namely, my research combines an elegance of Caenorhabditis elegans’ genetics/genomics with human genomics to understand why two individuals with the same rare disease-causing variant may have different clinical presentation of the disease (severe-mild-none)? In other words, I am asking whether other variants in a genome exist that may alleviate or exacerbate the severity of the disease-causing variant. Identification of such genetic modifiers provides important information about biological networks of human disease genes, and ability to accurately interpret variant pathogenicity in context of an individual genome, not unlike personalized medicine. This in turn allows for better disease prognosis, prevention and patient management. Furthermore, knowledge of genetic modifiers (suppressors in particular) may reveal natural health protectors and hence therapeutic targets, an urgent need for rare disorders (>95% do not have a single FDA approved drug).

Research Areas: 

Genomics Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Molecular and Development Genetics

Molecular Biology of Disease

Research Personnel: 

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

  • Dr. Francesca Jean   
  • Dr. Tatiana Maroilley  
  • Dr. Xiao Li 

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

  • Catherine Diao   

GRADUATE STUDENTS

  • Amanda Stuart  
  • Tahsin Hassan Rahit   
  • Vladimir Avramovic
  • Afiya Chida

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

AMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

  • Suporna Banik, Administrative Assistant 

ALUMINI

  • Yu (Jasmine) Shi, co-op Student
  • Brittany Ngo, Summer Student
  • Kanika Bharthi, Summer Student
  • Mathieu Meode, Research Assistant
  • Katrina Moreland, co-op Student
  • Pavel Tourin, Summer Student
  • Jacqueline Moreland, co-op Student
  • Shivania Reddy, Undergraduate Student  
  • Matthew Oldach, Bioinformatician
  • Dr. Simona Frederiksen, Postdoctoral Fellow

Publications

PubMed