Assistant Professor

Geisinger Research
155 Gibbs Street, #420
Rockville, MD 20850

Research Interests

Dr. Pendergrass is a Genetic Bioinformatician focusing on high-throughput data analysis and data-mining projects for uncovering the genetic architecture of complex traits. The data for these projects have come from a range of sources, where genotypic data has been coupled with the following: de-identified electronic health record data, population survey based data, clinical study data, and pharmacological study data. She has an interest in incorporating environmental exposure data in analyses of disease susceptibility, and analyses across ancestry. She has extensive experience developing novel methodologies and performing high-throughput analyses for discovery, such as those for Phenome-Wide Association Studies (PheWAS), an approach investigating the association between genetic variation and wide range of phenotypic variables.  She also has expertise in the development of unique software tools for data analysis, with software designed to enable researchers to access and analyze data in new ways. In addition, she has developed several unique software tools for data visualization: PhenoGram, PhenoGram-Genie, Synthesis-View, and PheWAS-View. Through her PhD she has expertise in gene-expression analyses and bioinformatics, with projects leveraging the complexity of gene-expression data for biomarker and biological discovery for the disease Systemic Sclerosis. Her masters work in Biomedical Engineering, and undergraduate degree in Physics, have provided her with additional technical and analytical expertise for complex data-driven projects.

Recent Publications

  • Ritchie MD, Holzinger ER, Li R, Pendergrass SA, Kim D. (2015, Feb). Methods of integrating data to uncover genotype-phenotype interactions. Nat Rev Genet , 16(2):85–97. Full Text
  • Chhibber A, Kroetz DL, Tantisira KG, McGeachie M, Cheng C, Plenge R, Stahl E, Sadee W, Ritchie MD, Pendergrass SA.. (2014, Dec). Genomic architecture of pharmacological efficacy and adverse events. Pharmacogenomics. , 15(16):2025-48. Full Text
  • Barrie ES, Weinshenker D, Verma A, Pendergrass SA, Lange LA, Ritchie MD, Wilson JG, Kuivaniemi H, Tromp G, Carey DJ, Gerhard GS, Brilliant MH, Hebbring SJ, Cubells JF, Pinsonneault JK, Norman GJ, Sadee W. (2014, Dec). Regulatory polymorphisms in human DBH affect peripheral gene expression and sympathetic activity. Circ Res , 115(12):1017–1025. Full Text
  • Hall MA, Verma A, Brown-Gentry KD, Goodloe R, Boston J, Wilson S, McClellan B, Sutcliffe C, Dilks HH, Gillani NB, Jin H, Mayo P, Allen M, Schnetz-Boutaud N, Crawford DC, Ritchie MD, Pendergrass SA . (2014, Dec). Detection of Pleiotropy through a Phenome-Wide Association Study (PheWAS) of Epidemiologic Data as Part of the Environmental Architecture for Genes Linked to Environment (EAGLE) Study. PLoS Genet , 10(12):e1004678. Full Text
  • Moore CB, Verma A, Pendergrass S, Setia S, Johnson DH, Daar ES, Gulick RM, Haubrich R, Robbins GK, Ritchie MD, Haas DW. (2014, Dec). Phenome-wide Associations Study (PheWAS) Relating Pre-treatment Laboratory Parameters with Human Genetic Variants in AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocols. Open Forum Infectious Diseases , Open Access. Full Text


MS in Biomedical Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 2001-2004
PhD in Genetics, Dartmouth College, 2004-2009