Exploring the impact of genetic variation on hearing acuity variability
Genomic variation is often described as the differences in DNA sequences between individuals. Genetic association studies analyze the relationship between DNA sequence variants and the physical traits they affect. Association studies often identify disease-related genomic associations and determine how genetic variation impacts biological trait variability.
Our lab is interested in how variation detected in the human genome impacts physical attributes. Specifically, our interest is how genomic variation affects an individual's ability to perceive sound, known as hearing acuity. Hearing research often focuses on the genetics of hearing impairment, although there is a need to understand how genetic variation impacts hearing acuity in general. Utilizing the UKBB's demographic, genomic, and audiometric data, we aim to pinpoint regions of the genome that impact hearing acuity. The impact of studying hearing variation includes the ability to: identify variants that influence hearing impairment, variants that may protect against hearing impairment, and variants that positively affect hearing by increasing hearing acuity.