Nadja Makki, Ph.D.
Dr. Nadja Makki is interested in the diseases of the connective tissue, specifically idiopathic scoliosis and inguinal hernia. Her lab’s goal is to discover novel regulatory mechanisms underlying these diseases by identifying gene regulatory elements such as enhancers, which play an important role in fine-tuning gene expression and understanding how mutations in these enhancers can lead to human diseases.
In addition, the lab aims to illuminate the genetic networks that the associated genes are involved in and dissect the molecular and cellular processes underlying disease pathogenesis. This disease-guided approach will shed light on global processes underlying connective tissue development and homeostasis.
What are your current research interests and/or what is a project you are currently working on?
We study Complex Diseases & Gene Regulation and focus on characterizing non-coding regulatory variants, genetic networks and molecular pathways underlying complex diseases with an emphasis on disorders that affect development and homeostasis of the connective tissue and extracellular matrix. Currently, our efforts focus on two connective tissue diseases: idiopathic scoliosis and inguinal hernia.
Our goal is to discover novel regulatory mechanisms underlying these diseases by identifying gene regulatory elements and understanding how mutations in these elements can lead to human diseases. In addition, we plan to illuminate the genetic networks that the associated genes are involved in and dissect the molecular and cellular processes underlying disease pathogenesis.
What excites you about your work?
I find it exciting to take on new challenges and to think about new scientific problems. It has been extremely rewarding to build up my own lab here at UF and continue my journey studying the genetics of complex diseases. I really enjoy interacting with students by discussing and developing new ideas and projects.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy doing outdoor activities with my family. We love the ocean and the beautiful beaches here in Florida.