Associate Director for Population and Diversity Research

Dana Craw­ford, PhD, is Pro­fes­sor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and Associate Director for Population and Diversity Research in the Cleveland Insti­tute for Com­pu­ta­tional Biol­ogy. She also has a secondary appointment in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences. Dr. Craw­ford received her Ph.D. at Emory Uni­ver­sity in genet­ics and mol­e­c­u­lar biol­ogy in 2000 and then trained as a post-doctoral fel­low as an Epi­demic Intel­li­gence Ser­vice Offi­cer at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (2000–2002) and as a senior fel­low at the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s Depart­ment of Genome Sci­ences (2002–2006). Prior to her most cur­rent posi­tion, Dr. Craw­ford spent eight years as tenure-track fac­ulty in the Depart­ment of Mol­e­c­u­lar Phys­i­ol­ogy and Bio­physics and Inves­ti­ga­tor in the Cen­ter for Human Genet­ics Research at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity. As a genetic epi­demi­ol­o­gist at CWRU, Dr. Crawford’s broad research inter­ests include apply­ing genetic vari­a­tion data to large-scale epi­demi­o­logic and clin­i­cal cohorts to bet­ter under­stand human genotype-phenotype asso­ci­a­tions with an empha­sis on diverse populations.

Recent Publications

  1. Waksmunski, AR, Kinzy, TG, Cruz, LA, Nealon, CL, Halladay, CW, Simpson, P, Canania, RL, Anthony, SA, Roncone, DP, Rogers, LS et al.. Glaucoma genetic risk scores in the Million Veteran Program. Ophthalmology 2022; : . PubMed PMID:35718050 .
  2. Verma, A, Tsao, NL, Thomann, LO, Ho, YL, Iyengar, SK, Luoh, SW, Carr, R, Crawford, DC, Efird, JT, Huffman, JE et al.. A Phenome-Wide Association Study of genes associated with COVID-19 severity reveals shared genetics with complex diseases in the Million Veteran Program. PLoS Genet 2022; 18 (4): e1010113. PubMed PMID:35482673 PubMed Central PMC9049369.
  3. Menon, R, Bomback, AS, Lake, BB, Stutzke, C, Grewenow, SM, Menez, S, D'Agati, VD, Jain, S, Kidney Precision Medicine Project. Integrated single-cell sequencing and histopathological analyses reveal diverse injury and repair responses in a participant with acute kidney injury: a clinical-molecular-pathologic correlation. Kidney Int 2022; 101 (6): 1116-1125. PubMed PMID:35339536 .
  4. Peloso, GM, Tcheandjieu, C, McGeary, JE, Posner, DC, Ho, YL, Zhou, JJ, Hilliard, AT, Joseph, J, O'Donnell, CJ, Efird, JT et al.. Genetic Loci Associated With COVID-19 Positivity and Hospitalization in White, Black, and Hispanic Veterans of the VA Million Veteran Program. Front Genet 2021; 12 : 777076. PubMed PMID:35222515 PubMed Central PMC8864634.
  5. Jin, B, Capra, JA, Benchek, P, Wheeler, N, Naj, AC, Hamilton-Nelson, KL, Farrell, JJ, Leung, YY, Kunkle, B, Vadarajan, B et al.. An association test of the spatial distribution of rare missense variants within protein structures identifies Alzheimer's disease-related patterns. Genome Res 2022; 32 (4): 778-790. PubMed PMID:35210353 PubMed Central PMC8997344.
  6. Huynh-Le, MP, Karunamuni, R, Fan, CC, Asona, L, Thompson, WK, Martinez, ME, Eeles, RA, Kote-Jarai, Z, Muir, KR, Lophatananon, A et al.. Prostate cancer risk stratification improvement across multiple ancestries with new polygenic hazard score. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2022; : . PubMed PMID:35152271 .
  7. Darst, BF, Hughley, R, Pfennig, A, Hazra, U, Fan, C, Wan, P, Sheng, X, Xia, L, Andrews, C, Chen, F et al.. A Rare Germline HOXB13 Variant Contributes to Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry. Eur Urol 2022; 81 (5): 458-462. PubMed PMID:35031163 PubMed Central PMC9018520.
  8. Liu, S, Crawford, DC. Maturation and application of phenome-wide association studies. Trends Genet 2022; 38 (4): 353-363. PubMed PMID:34991903 PubMed Central PMC8930498.
  9. Butler, CR, Appelbaum, PS, Ascani, H, Aulisio, M, Campbell, CE, de Boer, IH, Dighe, AL, Hall, DE, Himmelfarb, J, Knight, R et al.. A Participant-Centered Approach to Understanding Risks and Benefits of Participation in Research Informed by the Kidney Precision Medicine Project. Am J Kidney Dis 2022; 80 (1): 132-138. PubMed PMID:34871700 .
  10. Nealon, CL, Halladay, CW, Kinzy, TG, Simpson, P, Canania, RL, Anthony, SA, Roncone, DP, Sawicki Rogers, LR, Leber, JN, Dougherty, JM et al.. Development and Evaluation of a Rules-based Algorithm for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma in the VA Million Veteran Program. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2021; : 1-9. PubMed PMID:34822319 .
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Featured Publications

Using Electronic Health Records to Generate Phenotypes for Research

Sarah A. Pendergrass and Dana C. Crawford Electronic health records contain patient-level data collected during and for clinical care. Data within the electronic health record include diagnostic billing codes, procedure codes, vital signs, laboratory test results, clinical imaging, and physician notes. With repeated clinic visits, these data are longitudinal, providing important information on disease development, […]

Local genetic ancestry in CDKN2B-AS1 is associated with primary open-angle glaucoma in an African American cohort extracted from de-identified electronic health records.

Restrepo NA, Laper S, Farber-Eger E, Crawford DC. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the most prevalent clinical subtype of glaucoma in the United States, affects African Americans at a higher rate compared with European Americans. Risk factors identified for POAG include increased age and family history, […]

Dana on Twitter

The pandemic has taken so much from so many. Not this time COVID. Not this time. #AAASFellows

test Twitter Media - The pandemic has taken so much from so many.  Not this time COVID.  Not this time.  #AAASFellows https://t.co/uzP2dxpG22


ASHG issues statement regarding the warping of genetic knowledge to feed racist ideology: ashg.org/?p=20391&previ… Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

Excited to be in Denver for #ARVO2022! I present tomorrow morning in the Glaucoma Genetics Session. My talk is entitled "Cross-Ancestry Glaucoma Genetic Risk Score in Hispanic Veterans in the Million Veteran Program." Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

New! Osterman et al. explore the genetic architecture of #AlzheimersDisease risk in Amish populations #OA bit.ly/3vPhtQP Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

@genome_gov makes a reference to Our Flag Means Death. Did not see that coming! twitter.com/genome_gov/sta…

Oh, to be a post-doc in the @capra_lab! twitter.com/capra_lab/stat…

Our brief case for liberals arts education as a means to better prepare students as scientists. There is a lot more though. Liberal-arts education helps scientists think and communicate nature.com/articles/d4158… Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

It's a good day when you find out that 1) your submitted grant received a decent score and 2) @genome_gov liked one of your quote tweets.


@CWRUSOM Genetics and Genome Sciences chair position is open for applications! tinyurl.com/mr32km46 #CWRU #CWRUSOM #AcademicTwitter #genomics

@GeneticSociety also has #ASHG Board member nominations open at ashg.secure-platform.com/a/page/board-o… twitter.com/CaturDNA/statu…

Time is running out to nominate yourself or your colleagues for the @GeneticsSociety #ASHG committees! Apply by 3/15 at ashg.secure-platform.com/a/page/committ…

test Twitter Media - Time is running out to nominate yourself or your colleagues for the @GeneticsSociety #ASHG committees! Apply by 3/15 at https://t.co/WNxNLc353Q https://t.co/NJzzLz8Ok1

Our latest MVP research findings co-led with @JennyGenetics and Yan Sun: Genetic Loci Associated With COVID-19 Positivity and Hospitalization in White, Black, and Hispanic Veterans of the VA Million Veteran Program frontiersin.org/article/10.338… Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

@NHGRI_Director Lavender, the rose color for love at first sight or enchantment. #ValentinesDay

After careful consideration and input from our cat Starbright, I choose comparative genomics! I previously did research in comparative genomics, and I remain smitten with this exciting area of work. It’s basically opening up evolution’s notebooks about so many adorable critters! Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford

On this day 10 years ago, I become the first African American to get a PhD in Human Genetics from @vanderbiltu 🖤 Happy Valentine’s Day and Black History & Futures Month! 🖤🧬🖤🧬 Retweeted by Dr. Dana Crawford



Curriculum vitae