Barbara Fortini
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: Keck Science Center 103
Phone: 909-607-2325
Office Hours: Tuesday 10 -11, Wednesday 1 - 3
Web Site:
Educational Background:
Postdoctoral studies at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
PhD from the California Institute of Technology in Biology
BS from the California Institute of Technology in Biology

Courses Taught:
Genetics BIOL143
Biol43 Lecture and Lab
Genomics and Bioinformatics Biol156
Research Interests:
My primary research interest is in understanding how common genetic variation influences disease risk, especially cancer risk. Starting from genome-wide association studies that identify genetic loci that contribute to cancer risk, we attempt to identify the functional variant or variants that affect cellular function and link that function to the etiology of the disease. This work uses both genomic approaches and cell/molecular biology approaches to gain a comprehensive understanding of the risk region. Past work has discovered that many of these disease risk loci are SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, modulate the function of an enhancer region that in turn affects the regulation of a gene target. Molecular biology approaches such as CRISPR and qPCR are then used to identify the target gene. Using these approaches, potential novel functional variants have been identified related to colon cancer risk in human populations.
Selected Publications List: Click to open new window.