Eli Roberson, PhD

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine

Human and Statistical Genetics Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program
Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Program

  • 314 362-9736

  • 314-514-3634

  • MSC 8045-0020-10

  • 10008 Clinical Sciences Research Building (CSRB)

  • eroberson@wustl.edu

  • https://www.robersonlab.org

  • human genetics; autoimmune; inflammatory disease; biomarkers; high-throughput sequencing; precision medicine

  • Using bench molecular biology, high-throughput sequencing, and bioinformatics to understand human inflammatory / autoimmune disease.

Research Abstract:

Our lab is focused on understanding the genetics and molecular biology of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. While these diseases are collectively relatively common, targeted treatment for many of the individual conditions is limited due to a lack of understanding of the events that trigger disease and poor molecular biomarkers of disease activity. General immunosuppression is effective for some, but others have progressive disease regardless of standard therapy. We use human tissue samples with high-throughput biology and bioinformatics to fill in these knowledge gaps.

We currently have projects involving hidradenitis suppurativa, dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. We work closely with the clinicians in our division and at other universities to identify patients relevant to these studies that could contribute low-risk biological samples of disease-affected tissue.

Importantly, we combine the environment of a traditional wet-bench molecular biology lab with high-throughput sequencing and computational approaches. We both generate large amounts of data and analyze it. We also use this experience to develop new molecular techniques and build the software necessary to understand it. The broad range of potential projects and training focuses makes the lab a unique training environment.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
The existing power structures in higher education biomedical research aren't designed to support people from all backgrounds and experiences. Since these structures can't change overnight, I do my best to help mentees from non-tradional and underrepresented backgrounds navigate these complex systems. I also support the re-engineering of institutional power structures to reduce future bias.

Selected Publications:

*Senior author; †equal contribution; ‡sole or co-corresponding author

1. Ting JC, Roberson EDO, Miller N, Lysholm-Bernacchi A, Stephan D, Capone G, Ruczinski I, Thomas GH, Pevsner J. Visualization of uniparental inheritance, Mendelian inconsistencies, deletions and parent of origin effects in single nucleotide polymorphism trio data with SNPtrio. Human Mutation 2007, 28(12): 1225-1235. PMID: 17661425.

2. Soto I, Oglesby E, Buckingham BP, Son JL, Roberson EDO, Steele MR, Inman DM, Vetter ML, Horner PJ, Marsh-Armstrong N. Retinal ganglion cells downregulate gene expression and lose their axons within the optic nerve head in a mouse glaucoma model. J. Neurosci. 2008, 28(2): 548-561. PMID: 18184797.

3. Roberson EDO and Pevsner J. Visualization of shared genomic regions and meiotic recombination in high-density SNP data. PLoS ONE 2009, 4(8): e6711. PMCID: PMC2725774.

4. Ting JC, Roberson EDO, Currier DG, Pevsner J. Locations and patterns of meiotic recombination in two-generation pedigrees. BMC Medical Genetics 2009, 10: 93. PMCID: PMC2760526.

5. Roberson EDO, Wohler ES, Hoover-Fong JE, Lisi E, Stevens EL, Thomas GS, Leonard J, Hamosh A, Pevsner J. Genomic analysis of partial 21q monosomies with variable phenotypes. European Journal of Human Genetics 2010, 19(2): 235-238. PMCID: PMC3025784.

6. Harbour JW, Onken MD, Roberson EDO, Duan S, Cao L, Worley LA, Council ML, Matatall KA, Helms C, Bowcock AM. Frequent mutations of BAP1 in metastasizing uveal melanomas. Science 2010, 330(6009): 1410-1413. PMCID: PMC3087380.

7. Stevens EL†, Heckenberg G†, Roberson EDO†, Baugher JD, Downey TJ, Pevsner J. Inference of relationships in population data using identity-by-descent and identity-by-state. PLoS Genetics 2011, 7(9): e1002287. PMCID: PMC3178600.

8. Roberson EDO†, Liu Y†, Ryan C, Joyce CE, Duan S, Cao L, Martin A, Liao W, Menter A, Bowcock AM. A subset of methylated CpG sites differentiate psoriatic from normal skin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2011, 132(3 Pt 1): 583-592. PMCID: PMC3568942.

9. Lee H-Y, Huang Y, Bruneau N, Roll P, Roberson EDO, Hermann M, Quinn E, Maas J, Edwards R, Ashizawa T, Baykan B, Bhatia K, Bressman S, Bruno MK, Brunt ER Caraballo R, Echenne B, Fejerman N, Frucht S, Gurnett CA, Hirsch E, Houlden H, Jankovic J, Lee W-L, Lynch DR, Mohammed S, Muller U, Nespeca MP, Renner D, Rochette J, Rudolf G, Saiki S, Soong B-W, Swoboda KJ, Tucker S, Wood N, Hanna M, Bowcock AM, Szepetowski P, Fu Y-H, Ptacek LJ. Mutations in the gene PRRT2 cause paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia with infantile convulsions. Cell Reports 2012, (1): 2-12. PMCID: PMC3334308.

10. Stevens EL, Heckenberg G, Baugher JD, Roberson EDO, Downey TJ, Pevsner J. Consanguinity in Centre d'Étude du Polymorphisme Humain (CEPH) pedigrees. European Journal of Human Genetics 2012, 20(6): 657-667. PMCID: PMC3355261.

11. Jordan CT, Cao L, Roberson EDO, Pierson KC, Yang C-F, Joyce CE, Ryan C, Duan S, Helms CA, Liu Y, Chen Y, McBride AA, Hwu W-L, Wu J-Y, Chen Y-T, Menter A, Goldbach-Mansky R, Lowes MA, Bowcock AM. PSORS2 is due to mutations in CARD14. American Journal of Human Genetics 2012, 90(5): 784-795. PMCID: PMC3376640.

12. Jordan CT, Cao L, Roberson EDO, Duan S, Helms CA, Nair RP, Duffin KC, Stuart PE, Goldgar D, Hayashi G, Olfson EH, Feng B-J, Pullinger CR, Kane JP, Wise CA, Goldbach-Mansky R, Lowes MA, Peddle L, Chandran V, Liao W, Rahman P, Krueger GG, Gladman D, Elder JT, Menter A, Bowcock AM. Rare and common variants in CARD14, encoding an epidermal regulator of NF-KappaB, in psoriasis. American Journal of Human Genetics 2012, 90(5): 796-808. PMCID: PMC3376540.

13. Harbour JW, Roberson EDO, Anbunathan H, Onken MD, Worley LA, Bowcock AM. Recurrent mutations at codon 625 of the splicing factor SF3B1 in uveal melanoma. Nature Genetics 2013, 45: 133-135. PMCID: PMC3789378.

14. Milner JD, Vogel TP, Forbes L, Ma CA, Stray-Pedersen A, Niemela JE, Lyons JJ, Engelhardt KR, Zhang Y, Topcagic N, Roberson EDO, Matthews H, Verbsky JW, Dasu T, Vargas-Hernandez A, Varghese N, McClain KL, Karam LB, Nahmod K, Makedonas G, Mace EM, Sorte HS, Perminow G, Rao VK, O'Connell MP, Price S, Su HC, Butrick M, McElwee J, Hughes J, Willet J, Swan D, Xu Y, Santibanez-Koref M, Slowik V, Dinwiddie DL, Ciaccio CE, Saunders CJ, Septer S, Kingsmore SF, White AJ, Cant AJ, Hambleton S, Cooper MA. Early-onset lymphoproliferation and autoimmunity caused by germline STAT3 gain-of-function mutations. Blood 2014, 125(4): 591-599. PMCID: PMC4304103.

15. Triebwasser MP†, Roberson EDO†, Yu Y, Schramm EC, Raychaudhuri S, Seddon JM, Atkinson JP. Rare variants in the functional domains of Complement Factor H are associated with age-related macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2015, 56(11): 6873-6878. PMCID: PMC4627248.

16. Roberson EDO‡*. Identification of high-efficiency 3’GG gRNA motifs in indexed FASTA files with ngg2. PeerJ Computer Science 2015, 1: e33. Preprint. PMCID: PMC4750479.

17. O’Brien V, Hannan T, Yu L, Livny J, Roberson EDO, Schwartz D, Souza S, Mendelsohn C, Colonna M, Lewis A, Hultgren S. A mucosal imprint left by prior Escherichia coli bladder infection sensitizes to recurrent disease. Nature Microbiology 2016, 2: 16196. PMCID: PMC5308540.

18. Lokki AI, Daly E, Triebwasser M, Kurki MI, Roberson EDO, Happola P, Auro K, Perola M, Heinonen S, Kajantie E, Kere J, Kivinen K, Pouta A, Salmon JE, Meri S, Daly M, Atkinson JP, Laivuori L. Protective low-frequency variants for preeclampsia in the Fms Related Tyrosine Kinase 1 gene in the Finnish population. Hypertension 2017, 70(2): 365-371. PMCID: PMC5535812.

19. Roberson EDO‡*. Motif Scraper: A cross-platform, open-source tool for identifying degenerate nucleotide motif matches in FASTA files. Preprint. Bioinformatics 2018, bty437. PMCID: PMC6223366.

20. Cao L, Morales-Heil DJ, Roberson EDO‡*. Nicastrin haploinsufficiency alters expression of type I interferon-stimulated genes: the relationship to familial hidradenitis suppurativa. Preprint. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 2019, e118-125. PMCID: PMC7029778.

21. Rengarajan S, Vivio EE, Parkes M, Peterson DA, Roberson EDO, Newberry RD, Ciorba MA, Hsieh C-S. Dynamic immunoglobulin responses to gut bacteria during inflammatory bowel disease. Gut Microbes 2019, 1-16. PMCID: PMC7524373.

22. Roberson EDO‡*. A catalog of CasX genome editing sites in common model organisms. Preprint. BMC Genomics 2019, 20(1): 528. PMCID: PMC6598274.

23. Yu Y, O’Brien VP, Livny J, Dorsey D, Bandyopadhyay N, Colonna M, Caparon MG, Roberson EDO, Hultgren SJ, Hannan TJ. Mucosal infection rewires TNFα signaling dynamics to skew susceptibility to recurrence. eLife 2019, 8:e46677. PMCID: PMC6701943.

24. Mesa RA & Roberson EDO‡*. Validation of a commercial antibody to detect endogenous human nicastrin by immunoblot. F1000 Research 2020, 8:1211. PMCID: PMC7194342.

25. Brock BG, Croft CA, Ai TL, Qian W, Menos AM, Miner CA, Fremond M-L, Doisne J-M, Andhey PS, Platt DJ, Bando JK, Wang ER, Luksch H, Molina TJ, Roberson EDO, Artyomov MN, Rosen-Wolff A, Colonna M, Rieux-Laucat F, Di Santo JP, Neven B, Miner JJ. Sting gain-of-function disrupts lymph node organogenesis and innate lymphoid cell development in mice. Cell Reports 2020, 31(11):107771. PMCID: PMC7372600.

26. Roberson EDO‡, Mesa RA, Morgan GA, Cao L, Marin W, Pachman LM. Transcriptomes of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from juvenile dermatomyositis patients show elevated inflammation even when clinically inactive. Scientific Reports 2022, 12: 275. Preprint. PMCID: PMC8741808.

27. Paley MA, Baker BJ, Dunham SR, Linskey N, Contoni C, Lee K, Hassman LM, Laurent J, Roberson EDO, Clifford DB, Yokoyama MA. The CSF in neurosarcoidosis contains consistent clonal expansion of CD8 T cells, but not CD4 T cells. Journal of Neuroimmunology 2022, 367: 577860. PMID: 35405431.

28. Elhadad S, Chadburn A, Magro C, Van Besien K, Roberson EDO, Atkinson J, Terry H, Greenberg J, Reid W, Chapin J, Copertino D, Geramfard S, Bachier L, Orfali N, Gerghis U, Shore T, Mayer S, Ahamed J. C5b-9 and MASP2 deposition in skin and bone marrow microvasculature characterize hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy. Bone Marrow Transplantation 2022, 57(9): 1445-1447. PMID: 35661836.

29. Roberson EDO‡, Carns M, Cao L, Aren K, Goldberg IA, Morales-Heil DJ, Korman BD, Atkinson JP, Varga J. RNA-Seq analysis identifies alterations of the primary cilia gene SPAG17 and SOX9 locus non-coding RNAs in systemic sclerosis. Preprint. Arthritis & Rheumatology 2022, Jun 28. PMID: 35762854.

30. Sapao P, Roberson EDO, Shi B, Assassi S, Skaug B, Lee F, Naba A, Perez White BE, Cordova-Fletes C, Tsou P-S, Sawalha AH, Gudjonsson JE, Ma F, Verma P, Bhattacharyya D, Carns M, Strauss JF, Sicard D, Tschumperlin DJ, Champer MI, Campagnola PJ, Teves ME, Varga J. Reduced SPAG17 expression in systemic sclerosis triggers myofibroblast transition and drives fibrosis. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2022, Sep 15. PMID: 36116512.

Last Updated: 11/7/2022 2:10:37 PM

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