Symposium Speaker: Misa Graff, PhD, MS

Dr. Misa Graff is Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.  Dr. Graff's research interests focus on the genetics of obesity and cardiovascular disease risk traits, with an overarching goal of integrating understanding of both genetic and environmental risk factors for disease, particularly among minority populations.  Dr. Graff's current projects include the genetic epidemiology of weight gain across adolescence into young adulthood; gene-environment interactions across multiple large cohorts; the genetic architecture of adiposity in African Americans and Hispanics; and examination of genetic effects influencing cardiovascular disease risk traits and diseases burdening minority populations.

Recent Publications

  1. Von Holle, A, North, KE, Gahagan, S, Blanco, E, Burrows, R, Lozoff, B, Howard, AG, Justice, AE, Graff, M, Voruganti, S et al.. Infant Growth Trajectories and Lipid Levels in Adolescence: Evidence from a Chilean Infancy Cohort. Am J Epidemiol 2022; : . PubMed PMID:35467716 .
  2. Highland, HM, Wojcik, GL, Graff, M, Nishimura, KK, Hodonsky, CJ, Baldassari, AR, Cote, AC, Cheng, I, Gignoux, CR, Tao, R et al.. Predicted gene expression in ancestrally diverse populations leads to discovery of susceptibility loci for lifestyle and cardiometabolic traits. Am J Hum Genet 2022; 109 (4): 669-679. PubMed PMID:35263625 PubMed Central PMC9069067.
  3. Downie, CG, Dimos, SF, Bien, SA, Hu, Y, Darst, BF, Polfus, LM, Wang, Y, Wojcik, GL, Tao, R, Raffield, LM et al.. Multi-ethnic GWAS and fine-mapping of glycaemic traits identify novel loci in the PAGE Study. Diabetologia 2022; 65 (3): 477-489. PubMed PMID:34951656 PubMed Central PMC8810722.
  4. Graham, SE, Clarke, SL, Wu, KH, Kanoni, S, Zajac, GJM, Ramdas, S, Surakka, I, Ntalla, I, Vedantam, S, Winkler, TW et al.. The power of genetic diversity in genome-wide association studies of lipids. Nature 2021; 600 (7890): 675-679. PubMed PMID:34887591 PubMed Central PMC8730582.
  5. Kim, D, Justice, AE, Chittoor, G, Blanco, E, Burrows, R, Graff, M, Howard, AG, Wang, Y, Rohde, R, Buchanan, VL et al.. Genetic determinants of metabolic biomarkers and their associations with cardiometabolic traits in Hispanic/Latino adolescents. Pediatr Res 2021; : . PubMed PMID:34645953 PubMed Central PMC9005573.
  6. Polfus, LM, Darst, BF, Highland, H, Sheng, X, Ng, MCY, Below, JE, Petty, L, Bien, S, Sim, X, Wang, W et al.. Genetic discovery and risk characterization in type 2 diabetes across diverse populations. HGG Adv 2021; 2 (2): . PubMed PMID:34604815 PubMed Central PMC8486151.
  7. Sun, Q, Graff, M, Rowland, B, Wen, J, Huang, L, Miller-Fleming, TW, Haessler, J, Preuss, MH, Chai, JF, Lee, MP et al.. Analyses of biomarker traits in diverse UK biobank participants identify associations missed by European-centric analysis strategies. J Hum Genet 2022; 67 (2): 87-93. PubMed PMID:34376796 PubMed Central PMC8792153.
  8. Graff, M, Justice, AE, Young, KL, Marouli, E, Zhang, X, Fine, RS, Lim, E, Buchanan, V, Rand, K, Feitosa, MF et al.. Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry. Am J Hum Genet 2021; 108 (4): 564-582. PubMed PMID:33713608 PubMed Central PMC8059339.
  9. Hou, R, Cole, SA, Graff, M, Wang, Y, Haack, K, Laston, S, Mehta, NR, Shypailo, RJ, Gourlay, ML, Comuzzie, AG et al.. Genetic variants and physical activity interact to affect bone density in Hispanic children. BMC Pediatr 2021; 21 (1): 79. PubMed PMID:33588791 PubMed Central PMC7883422.
  10. Buchanan, VL, Wang, Y, Blanco, E, Graff, M, Albala, C, Burrows, R, Santos, JL, Angel, B, Lozoff, B, Voruganti, VS et al.. Genome-wide association study identifying novel variant for fasting insulin and allelic heterogeneity in known glycemic loci in Chilean adolescents: The Santiago Longitudinal Study. Pediatr Obes 2021; 16 (7): e12765. PubMed PMID:33381925 PubMed Central PMC8711702.
Search PubMed

Growing evidence shows that alpha-gal syndrome, an allergic reaction to mammal meats like pork and beef, can be triggered by a tick bite. Dr. Jennifer Platt, an adjunct professor at the Gillings School, says, "I think of alpha-gal syndrome as Lyme 2.0.” nytimes.com/2022/05/13/us/…

Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID tests. Go to COVIDTests.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 — the kits and shipping are totally free; no ID, credit card or health insurance information required. Spread the word! Retweeted by UNC Public Health

There aren’t good estimates of how widespread casual #breastmilk sharing is, but experts believe it is not uncommon. For many parents, the advice to avoid informal milk sharing “falls on deaf ears,” says Dr. @AunPalmquist. nytimes.com/2022/05/20/wel…

Last week, the U.S. passed an almost unimaginable milestone: One million people recorded dead of COVID-19. I worry that we have become inured to the numbers. If we, as a country, do not overcome trust issues, we will not be prepared for the next pandemic. mondaymorning.web.unc.edu/covid-19-death… Retweeted by UNC Public Health

Alice Ammerman, a @UNCpublichealth professor, created "Good Bowls" which works with #UNC community partners to provide healthy foods to families in need. Learn how this social venture is paying it forward unc.live/3GnihBl Retweeted by UNC Public Health

Earlier in May, the United States reported more than one million recorded #COVID deaths — the highest number anywhere in the world. Per capita, the U.S. ranks 18th for deaths, which Dr. @JustinLessler says is a better indicator of the country's response. bbc.com/news/61333847

We're thrilled that Dr. Courtney Woods (at left!) has joined the RTI University Scholars Program! @UNCpublichealth faculty and students collaborate deeply with @RTI_Intl to further important work like Dr. Woods' research around environmental justice.

test Twitter Media - We're thrilled that Dr. Courtney Woods (at left!) has joined the RTI University Scholars Program! @UNCpublichealth faculty and students collaborate deeply with @RTI_Intl to further important work like Dr. Woods' research around environmental justice. https://t.co/K0nHiGjuJW

We're so proud to share that the Brown University School of Public Health (@Brown_SPH) has selected @UNCpublichealth alum Dr. Ronald Aubert to serve as interim dean. sph.unc.edu/sph-news/auber…

.@NIAIDNews, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded @UNCpublichealth $65 million to establish an Antiviral Drug Discovery Center where researchers will develop oral antivirals that combat pandemic-level viruses like COVID-19. sph.unc.edu/sph-news/unc-c…

Three cheers for Karlyn Conery, a Master of Public Health student, who is one of 22 undergraduate and graduate students selected for a summer 2022 internship with the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. sph.unc.edu/sph-news/coner…

RTI International (@RTI_Intl) and the Gillings School recently gave students an in-depth look at the broad impact of the two organizations' partnership during the School’s annual “Virtual PHield Trip." sph.unc.edu/sph-news/unc-g…

Dr. Alison Stuebe says the idea that every woman can produce the breast milk her baby needs “is not predicated on reality. Not every person can make insulin. With diabetes, we don’t say, ‘Well, if you just tried harder, you wouldn’t need that medicine.’” nytimes.com/2022/05/16/wel…

Dr. Aaron Salzberg, @UNC_Water_Inst director, is one of three Carolina faculty to receive the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs’ inaugural Faculty Award for Global Excellence! 🌍 sph.unc.edu/sph-news/salzb…

Check out Dr. @AunPalmquist's piece "A formula for disaster" on the @PLOSGPH's Speaking of Medicine and Health blog. Dr. Palmquist offers insight into the broken systems that are supposed to prevent an infant feeding crisis. ow.ly/uq5s50JgMhy @UNCpublichealth @UNC_Global Retweeted by UNC Public Health

.@UNCpublichealth researchers found that people who engage in prenatal substance use are more likely to delay prenatal care and receive inadequate care before and after birth, with the most pronounced differences in those who report illicit substance use. sph.unc.edu/sph-news/prena…

I got my first #pumphack from a classmate at @CGBI in the shared lactation room on the 2nd floor of @UNCpublichealth in 2015. 7 years later I am finally sharing the wisdom from #breastfeeding medicine & lived experience with other obstetricians. bit.ly/3sViaam Retweeted by UNC Public Health

Excessive drinking cost North Carolinians $9.73 billion, or $2.09 per drink, in 2017 – a 38% increase over excessive drinking costs in 2010. Experts say most of this rise in costs is likely from the 40% increase in binge drinking during these years. sph.unc.edu/sph-news/exces…

From Dr. Jeff Stringer: Here's an exciting job opportunity to lead a maternal and child health research portfolio at the Gates Foundation. twitter.com/AnitaZaidi/sta…

Graff Lab Website

Curriculum vitae