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Gita Pathak, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate


Dr.Pathak is a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Renato Polimanti’s group working with psychiatric genetics. She recently received K99/R00, Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship, and the ADRC scholar award to focus on her long-term research interest of understanding genetics underlying Alzheimer's disease and psychiatric traits. In her postdoctoral work, she focused on system genetics of polysubstance abuse, cardiac amyloidosis, and mood disorders among other complex traits. She was the lead analyst for the investigation on Genomics of Gulf War Illness (GWI) under the Million Veteran Program (MVP), which houses genotype and clinical data on more than 650,000 veterans (under review). Dr.Pathak developed a high resolution multi-ethnic genome reference panel for the diverse MVP cohort to improve genetic ancestry identification of ethnic minorities (Wendt et. al 2022, Human Genomics). She is also one of the leading analysts for the Psychiatric Genomic Consortium – Major Depression Working Group wherein she integrated three-dimensional chromatin conformation to prioritize genetic variants associated with depression in 3.5 million individuals (World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics 2022). She initiated and performed analyses for the multi-institutional collaborative project with COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative (HGI) to study regulatory effects of COVID-19 risk loci (Nature Communications). Within HGI, she performed phenome-wide association study for the variants identified in their data freeze 5 and led a team of four scientists. She is the first author for the data freeze 6 manuscript which identified ACE2 locus (Nature). So far in her postdoctoral training, she has published eight papers as first author, and 38 papers as co-author. Her skills involve Bayesian statistics, GWAS, epigenomics, fine-mapping, functional annotation, transcriptomics and admixture mapping.

She joined Yale after completing her doctoral studies at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas. Her graduate work on understanding disrupted genetic variants underlying health effects earned her numerous awards as a graduate student. She was selected as a pre-doctoral fellow for the NIH-T32 Neurobiology of Aging (2017-18), Health Science Innovation Award at Annual NBA Symposium (2018), Texas Higher Education Grant, Outstanding Graduate Student in Genetics (2018-19), and was a pre-finalist for the MiHero predoctoral fellowship. She received full scholarship to attend the 23rd Statistical Genetics Summer Institute at University of Washington, Seattle.

She served as the communications member and then as a coordinator for the Yale Postdoctoral Association. She also mentored PhD students through the Women in Science at Yale initiative.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of North Texas Health Science Center, Molecular Genetics (2019)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Seed GrantYale Women's Faculty Forum2024
Travel Grant for Data BootcampAmerican Heart Association2024
Yale ADRC Research Scholar AwardYale Alzheimer's Disease Research Center2023
K99National Institute of Aging2022
Postdoctoral Fellow for The Franke Program in Science and the HumanitiesThe Franke Program in Science and the Humanities2022
Alzheimer’s Association Research FellowshipAlzheimer's Association2022
Biological Sciences Training Program (BSTP) in Psychiatry: NIMH-Funded (T32) Training GrantNational institute of Mental Health2022

Departments & Organizations