Darren A Cusanovich
Assistant Professor, Research Scholar Track
Assistant Research Scientist
Working at the nexus of functional genomics, computational biology, and cellular biology, our group is both experimental and computational. We develop novel single-cell genomic technologies and apply them to better understand lung development and disease.
Dr. Cusanovich received his B.S. in Music Business from Loyola University New Orleans in 2002. After a brief stint in the music industry in Los Angeles, he realized that his true passion was genomics. So, Dr. Cusanovich spent a few years in Donata Vercelli's Lab here at the University of Arizona - his first exposure to asthma genomics research. Dr. Cusanovich then got his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from The University of Chicago (in Yoav Gilad's lab). While there, Dr. Cusanovich studied how genetic variation in human populations perturbs gene expression and can lead to complex disease susceptibilities. Dr. Cusanovich then did his postdoctoral research in Jay Shendure's lab at the University of Washington. While in Seattle, he developed a novel single-cell chromatin accessibility assay and applied it to several model systems to study the variation in gene regulatory landscapes present in complex tissues. In 2018, Dr. Cusanovich accepted a position here at the UofA in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center. The Cusanovich Lab is interested in understanding how the human genome regulates itself to bring about all of the cellular diversity present in our bodies. In addition, we are interested in how genetic variation and environmental exposures in human populations impact that regulation and sometimes lead to complex disease. The particular disease model that we focus on is asthma, a complex disease affecting ~10-20% of the population. To study these phenomena, we use single-cell genomics technologies so that we can evaluate the impact of genetic and environmental variability from the perspective of whole tissues rather than having to isolate individual cell types or use simplistic cellular models. Lab website: cusanovichlab.github.io