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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address LHRB 440 Zip 0006
Phone  (205) 934-0714
Other websites PACCM

Undergraduate  University of Waterloo    2001  HBSc 
Graduate  University of Saskatchewan    2006  MSc 
Graduate  Baylor College of Medicine    2011  PhD 
Fellowship  Harvard Medical School/ Brigham and Women's Hospital    2013  Fellowship 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Medicine  Med - Pulmonary/Allergy/Critical Care Assistant Professor
Secondary  Epidemiology  Epidemiology Assistant Professor
Secondary  Genetics   Genetics Chair Office Assistant Professor
Center  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Ctr for Exercise Medicine Assistant Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Assistant Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Public Health 

Biographical Sketch 
Merry-Lynn McDonald, MSc, PhD, recently joined the UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine as an assistant professor of medicine. Dr. McDonald is a genetic epidemiologist who brings with her a wealth of research knowledge. Dr. McDonald has specific interests in COPD, cachexia, muscle wasting, genetic epidemiology, systems biology and bioinformatics. Dr. McDonald completed her PhD training in genetic epidemiology with Dr. Suzanne Leal at Baylor College of Medicine. Following her graduate training, she completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Edwin Silverman in Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard School of Medicine/Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. McDonald currently has funding from the National Institutes of Health (K99/R00) and the Parker B. Francis Foundation to support her research on “Network Medicine Approaches to Cachexia in COPD”. Dr. McDonald is an active member of the American Thoracic Society, the American Society of Human Genetics and the Society of Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Society of Human Genetics  Member   
American Thoracic Society  Member   
American Thoracic Society Section on Genetics and Genomics  Nominating Committee Member (2013)   
Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders  Member   

Research/Clinical Interest
Network Medicine Approaches to Cachexia
Dr. McDonald’s lab is focused on researching cachexia, loss of muscle with or without loss of fat in individuals suffering from chronic illness. She is interested in the application of genomics to decipher complex traits.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Potential role of modifier genes influencing transforming growth factor-beta1 levels in the development of vascular defects in endoglin heterozygous mice with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.  11395379 
Reduced endothelial secretion and plasma levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1.  15907823 
Splice-site mutations in the TRIC gene underlie autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment in Pakistani families.  18084694 
Mapping of a new autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment locus (DFNB45) to chromosome 1q43-q44.  18325041 
Novel autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing impairment locus (DFNB71) maps to chromosome 8p22-21.3.  19229252 
Recurrent chromosome 16p13.1 duplications are a risk factor for aortic dissections.  21698135 
Genome-wide association study identifies a susceptibility locus for thoracic aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections spanning FBN1 at 15q21.1.  21909107 
The chicken frizzle feather is due to an α-keratin (KRT75) mutation that causes a defective rachis.  22829773 
Genetic association of cyclic AMP signaling genes with bipolar disorder.  23032945 
Beyond GWAS in COPD: probing the landscape between gene-set associations, genome-wide associations and protein-protein interaction networks.  25171373 
Quantitative computed tomography measures of pectoralis muscle area and disease severity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A cross-sectional study.  24558953 
Risk loci for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis.  24621683 
A comparative analysis of family-based and population-based association tests using whole genome sequence data.  25519381 
The clinical and genetic features of COPD-asthma overlap syndrome.  24876173 
Genome-wide association identifies regulatory Loci associated with distinct local histogram emphysema patterns.  25006744 
DNAH5 is associated with total lung capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  25134640 
Genetic susceptibility for chronic bronchitis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  25241909 
Phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity among subjects with mild airflow obstruction in COPDGene.  25154699 
Chest CT measures of muscle and adipose tissue in COPD: gender-based differences in content and in relationships with blood biomarkers.  25088837 
Common genetic variants associated with resting oxygenation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  24825563 
IREB2 and GALC are associated with pulmonary artery enlargement in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  25101718 
Reduced Bone Density and Vertebral Fractures in Smokers. Men and COPD Patients at Increased Risk.  25719895 
Continuous fat-free mass decline in COPD: fact or fiction?  26381518 
A genome-wide association study identifies risk loci for spirometric measures among smokers of European and African ancestry.  26634245 
Sarcopenic Obesity, Functional Outcomes, and Systemic Inflammation in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  27161848 
A genome-wide analysis of the response to inhaled β2-agonists in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  26503814 
Clinical, physiologic, and radiographic factors contributing to development of hypoxemia in moderate to severe COPD: a cohort study.  27903260 
Susceptibility to Childhood Pneumonia: A Genome-Wide Analysis.  27508494 
Obesity Is Associated With Increased Morbidity in Moderate to Severe COPD.  27568229 
Body mass index change in gastrointestinal cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is associated with Dedicator of Cytokinesis 1.  28044437 
Sex-Based Genetic Association Study Identifies CELSR1 as a Possible Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Risk Locus among Women.  27854507 

genetics, genomics, COPD, cachexia, systems biology, network medicine, wasting, sarcopenia, metabolomics, gene expression, RNA-seq, proteomics