Mathematical Sciences

Faculty Mentors:  Drs. Wilfried Karmaus, Yu Jiang, Su Chen

Faculty Mentor Departments: Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, and Department of Mathematical Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Telephone Number/Email: 901-678-2491;

Project Description: (1) Our overall research interest is to identify etiologic factors, especially epigenetic markers, related to allergic diseases, lung function, obesity, pubertal changes, and growth. Epigenetic markers of our interest are DNA-methylation, the addition of a methyl-group (due to environmental influences) to the DNA, which makes the DNA more or less readable.

(2) We have multiple NIH-funded projects working on life-style/environmental changes between infancy and early adulthood, changes of epigenetic markers measured in infancy, at age 10 and 18 years, during pregnancy, and in the offspring of the cohort members and their impact on diseases. We are also interested to understand whether DNA-methylation at birth predicts the onset of puberty.

(3) We are investigating the effects of maternal pregnancy conditions on DNA-methylation and the role of these epigenetic changes on lung function of their children.

(4) We are team-working with Faculty and PhD and Masters students at the UofM. At the UofM, our task is to bring different pieces of information and different measurements conducted at other Universities together. These are epidemiologic and biostatistical tasks and applications that require environmental, biological understanding, and understanding of social and developmental processes. In addition, we are collaborating with multiple national and international scientists.

(5) We have regular 'lab' meetings and always love to integrate new students. Undergraduate students are welcome. Working with this group offers a lot of ideas and opportunities on how and where to continue in graduate studies.

For our work, see:

Requirements for Student Applicants: Interest in biological and statistical sciences, or environmental health. Ability to learn by doing. Willingness to read a large number of scientific publications. At least 12 months of commitment to successfully complete or participate in a successful analysis of a study of your interest.

Application or Interview Process: : Interested applicants should apply to Drs. Yu Jiang (, Wilfried Karmaus ( at the School of Public Health or Dr. Su Chen ( in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Please include a resume and a paragraph about your research interests.

Starting Date: Fall 2018

Method of Compensation:  Volunteer