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Aravinda Chakravarti, PhD

ASHG Past President (2008)


Human genetics is not my profession, it is my life

- Aravinda Chakravarti, PhD


Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Molecular Biology & Genetics; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Professor of Biostatistics, Bloomberg School of Public Health; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD



Primary Research Interests:

Human genetics and genomics of complex diseases; the role of genes vs. environment in causing disease and disease risk/susceptibility (i.e., genetic determinism); the development and application of molecular genetic, genomic and computational methods in human genetics research

Dr. Chakravarti studies disease genomics to determine the molecular basis of complex disorders and to identify patterns in the genetic mutations that cause susceptibility to complex diseases, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disorders (sudden cardiac death, hypertension)

  • Mental illness (autism, bipolar disease, schizophrenia)

  • Birth defects (Hirschsprung disease)



Dr. Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D. is the 2008 President of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). Dr. Chakravarti is one of the Editors-in-Chief of Genome Research, and serves on the Advisory and Editorial Boards of numerous national and international journals, boards and societies. He is also a past member of the NIH National Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute, chaired the NIH Subcommittee on the 3rd 5-year Genome Project Plan, and continues to serve on several NIH panels.

Dr. Chakravarti’s research is aimed at genomic-scale analysis of the human genome, computational analysis of gene variation and function, and understanding the molecular genetic basis of common genetic disorders. His passion for human genetics research, and his dedication to the advancement of the field is clearly evident when he speaks on the subject. In his own words, “Human genetics is not my profession but my life.”

Dr. Chakravarti received his doctoral degree in human genetics from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 1979 and continued postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle until 1980.



Audio/Video Clips


Scientists Scour Genome for Clues About Disease
NPR - July 20, 2007

Personalized Medicine
The Diane Rehm Show (NPR News, WAMU 88.5 FM) - Oct 31, 2006

Scientists See Defects in Lab-Grown Stem Cells
NPR - June 22, 2005

Slaying the Disease Dragon
University of Michigan - Sept 29, 2005



Aravinda Chakravarti Lab Overview
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Presentation – May 2006

The Science of Genomics and Its Applications to Common Diseases
Institute of Medicine (IOM) Presentation - Dec 7, 2004

Dr. Chakravarti on the Web


Johns Hopkins Faculty

The Aravinda Chakravarti Laboratory



Featured News Clips

[Click Featured News Clips to view]


The Betamax of DNA Sequencing? - Mar 26, 2009

Study ID's Sudden Cardiac Death Genes
United Press International (UPI) - Mar 24, 2009

DNA Tests Help Genealogists Only So Far
Washington Times - Mar 11, 2009

Kinship: Race Relations (Essay by A. Chakravarti for Nature’s “Opinion” Section)
Nature - Jan 22, 2009

Beginning to Crack the Code of ‘Junk DNA’
Philadelphia Inquirer - Dec 18, 2008


Fingerprints for Cancer: Geneticists Step Out of Research Role to Raise Funds for Cancer
The Scientist - Nov 14, 2008


ASHG 2008: Recommendations Issued on Ancestry Testing
Medscape Medical News - Nov 14, 2008


ASHG President Discusses Achievements, Remaining Challenges at Annual Meeting
GenomeWeb News - Nov 13, 2008


ASHG Urges Closer Look at Consumer Ancestral DNA Tests
GenomeWeb News - Nov 13, 2008


ASHG Releases Statement on Genetic Ancestry Testing at 58th Annual Meeting
Medical News Today - Nov 13, 2008


What Is the Future of Medical Genetics?
ABC News - Jul 28, 2008

Founder of Medical Genetics Dies
The Scientist - Jul 24, 2008


Johns Hopkins Purchases Sequenom MassARRAY Platform
Yahoo! Finance/Business Wire - May 28, 2008

U.S. Outlaws Genetic Discrimination
New Scientist - Apr 28, 2008

Senate Expected to Pass Genetic Discrimination Bill
Associated Press - Apr 24, 2008

Genetic Discrimination Bill Expected to Pass
USA Today - Apr 24, 2008

Health Highlights: Senate to Vote on Genetic Information Bill
Washington Post - Apr 24, 2008

Genetic Scientists Anticipate U.S. Senate Passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Medical News Today - Apr 24, 2008


The Dawn of Whole Genome Association Studies
Wired News - July 19, 2007

Hopkins to Participate in 1000 Genomes Project
The Johns Hopkins University Gazette - Jan 28, 2008

Johns Hopkins to Participate in 1000 Genomes Project - Jan 22, 2008


Genes That Fit
Simons Foundation News Blog - Jan 11, 2008


Autism May Be More Genes Than Environment, Studies Say
ABC News - Jan 10, 2008

Three Studies Suggest Gene Raises Autism Risk
Reuters News - Jan 10, 2008

On Parenting Genes – Not Vaccines – Linked to Autism
U.S. News & World Report - Jan 9, 2008

Dr. Chakravarti, Dr. Krishnan elected to U.S. Institute of Medicine
India Abroad (New York Edition) - Dec 13, 2007

Aravinda Chakravarti: Not Everything We Do is Biology
Simons Foundation News Blog - Dec 7, 2007

Early Autism Screening Urged, But Barriers Exist
American Medical News - Nov 19, 2007

Johns Hopkins Researchers Release Raw Genotype Data on Autism
The Johns Hopkins University Gazette - Nov 12, 2007

A Thick Head of Hair is in the Genes
Science Magazine - Nov 1, 2007

Data on Genes Involved in Autism Released to Researchers
ScienceDaily News - Oct 24, 2007

Six JHU Researchers Elected to Institute of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University Gazette - Oct 15, 2007

Human Genome's Healthy Secrets: Scientists are Linking Pieces of DNA to Hopes of Treating Disease
Sacramento Bee - Sept 3, 2007

Neutral Evolution Has Helped Shape Our Genome
ScienceDaily News - July 11, 2007

Cataloging the Structural Variations in Human Genetics
ScienceDaily News - May 10, 2007

Project Uses DNA to Trace Ancestry
United Press International - March 6, 2007

Price War Between Gene-Scanners Could Spur Research
The Wall Street Journal - Dec 21, 2006

Genes Called Handy for Tailoring Medical Care
Deseret Morning News - Dec 9, 2006

First Comprehensive Study to Discover the Genetic Causes of Autism
The Broad Institute - Aug 15, 2006

Mapping the Last Chromosome
Red Herring - June 11, 2006

Whole-Genome Study Shows New Gene Associated With Heart Rhythm
The Johns Hopkins University Gazette - May 1, 2006

International Study Launched At Johns Hopkins To Seek Genetic Roots Of Sudden Cardiac Death
WebWire - Dec 8, 2005

Institute Taps Computer Power to Advance Medical Research
Newswise - Oct 12, 2005

Embryonic Stem Cells Accrue Genetic Changes
The Johns Hopkins University Gazette - Sept 19, 2005

Embryonic Stem Cells Found to Acquire Mutations
The Washington Post - Sept 5, 2005'

Scientists Uncover Problems That May Limit Usefulness of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
NPR - June 22, 2005

Gene Regions Beyond Protein Instructions Important in Disease
EurekAlert! - Apr 13, 2005

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Study Uncovers Genetic Mutations in Federally-Approved Lines
Affymetrix Microarray Bulletin - Spring 2005

New Study to Explore Genetics of Autism
Genome News Network - Oct 15, 2004

Big Man in Genes
Hopkins Medical News - Winter 2002

Solving the genetics of a complex disorder
Genome News Network - April 26, 2002



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