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About Us

Welcome to our Research Group's webpage!

We are a group of human geneticists and computational biologists. We utilize cutting-edge analytic tools to address questions at the intersection of human medical and population genetics. These insights will be critical for future medical genetics studies and in practicing personalized medicine.

For new and current members of the group, please check out Lab Expectations and Resources here

We are part of the Center for Genetic Epidemiology, in the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC Keck School of Medicine.

Recent News

1.2020: Charleston was invited to give a seminar at Department of Genetics, University of Georgia in Athens, GA. It is a department strong in evolutionary biology and filled with exciting research from its faculty and students!

1.2020: Sydney Rashid, an undergraduate student from Quantitative Biology has joined our group as a research assistant! Welcome Sydney!

10-11.2019: Minhui gave a short talk at Bay Area Population Genetics meeting (BAPG XVIII) on his preprint on polygenic adaptation and height. Meng also presented a poster on her preprint about CREBRF locus in Native Hawai'ians at ASHG 2019 in Houston!

10.2019: A pair of preprints from the lab is posted on bioRxiv! These are the first two research papers from the group. One led by Minhui on polygenic adaptation of height associated loci in Europe and Sardinia, the other led by Meng on the CREBRF locus in Native Hawai'ians in the Multiethnic Cohort. Feel free to get in contact if you have any comments or questions!

9.2019: As we start the new semester, the lab is also growing! This term we welcome three new members joining the lab: Caoqi (Ephraim) Fan (PhD student, CBB), Tsz Fung Chan (PhD student, Epidemiology, co-advised with Nick Mancuso), and Sam Sommerer (Undergraduate student, Quantitative Biology). Welcome Caoqi, Tsz Fung, and Sam!

9.2019: Charleston was invited to give a seminar at International Laboratory for Human Genome Research (LIIGH) in Queretaro, Mexico. It was an enjoyable visit to see an up and coming institute with a core of young and energetic faculty!

8.2019: Our manuscript on leveraging Finnish population history to improve power of rare variant association and to detect novel associations to quantitative cardiometabolic traits is published in Nature! This paper really exemplifies the utility to leverage populations of special population history in human medical genetics, which is the central theme of our research group moving forward!

Read our older news here.


The overarching theme of our research group is to use genetic approaches to understand how evolutionary forces shaped the genetic architecture of complex traits within and between populations. To this end, we have been involved in a number of past and ongoing medical genetics studies in mapping genetic loci underlying human complex traits. We are also continually interested in investigating the evolutionary forces, namely demography and selection, that shaped the pattern of genetic variability and phenotypic distribution. We are particularly interested in diverse, global human populations and our successes result from collaborating with innovative colleagues and thriving in resourceful consortiums. Read a more detailed description of our work here.

Contact Us

Charleston can be reached via email at:
charleston [dot] chiang [at] med [dot] usc [dot] edu

We are located in the Harlyne J. Norris Research Tower (NRT) on the Health Science Campus at USC

Mailing Address:
1450 Biggy Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033


Guest Lectures

BISC577: Computational Biology Laboratory
"Genetics and Evolution": slides (2019.12.03)
(This is a huge slide deck! 130+ slides, ~25Mb)

Join Us

Postdoctoral Fellows: We currently have one opening for a postdoctoral fellow in genetic epidemiology and population genetics. Highly motivated individuals are encouraged to contact Charleston Chiang for inquiries. Applicants ideally should have extensive exposure and experience in human medical and/or population genetics research and have analyzed large genetic datasets. Programming skills (e.g. python, perl, C, R, etc.) and proficiency in Unix-based computing environments are very desirable. Successful candidates may also develop projects broadly within the scope of the group's research interests.

Informal inquiries or applications (cover letter, CV, and contact information to at least two references) should be emailed to Charleston Chiang.


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