Karen Schwander

Research Statistician

Karen Schwander is a Research Statistician. She holds a B.A in Mathematics and an M.S. in Mathematics and Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Ms. Schwander joined the Division in March of 1999 as a Statistical Data Analyst working on the HyperGEN study. Her skills include data management, quality control, and data analysis. She is experienced in working with genome-wide association study data (GWAS), imputed genotypes, and whole exome sequencing (WES) data.

Besides the HyperGEN study, Ms. Schwander has been involved in multiple research projects, including the Family Blood Pressure Program (FBPP), a large multi-center genetics study of blood pressure, and GenSalt, a study of blood pressure and salt-sensitivity in Han Chinese. The goal of these studies is to locate and characterize the genes that contribute to high blood pressure and related diseases.

Recently, Ms. Schwander’s research focuses on gene-environment interactions on cardiometabolic traits, through her work with the CHARGE Gene-Lifestyle Working Group. In particular, she is the lead analyst for a meta-analysis project researching the role of gene-smoking interactions on blood pressure on over 500,000 participants.