Catherine Tcheandjieu harnesses expertise in population genetics and statistics to understand the distribution of disease in various ethnic or geographic groups, and the genetic root of disease in these groups. Using state-of-the-art genomics and machine learning technology, her lab aims to define the genes associated with cardiovascular diseases in diverse human populations.
Tcheandjieu’s previous work focused on predicting risk for thyroid cancer and various cardiovascular diseases in people of African, Hispanic, Melanesian, and European descent. Ultimately, she strives to develop approaches for predicting and treating disease that benefit people from all ancestries.
Areas of Expertise
Most of our current understanding of the genetic basis of disease stems from data obtained from predominantly Caucasian populations. Catherine Tcheandjieu endeavors to mine data from a broader population base, with the ultimate aim of designing diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that serve populations of all ancestries.
Her previous contributions include a statistical method for estimating the incidence of toxoplasmosis (a parasitic disease that can transmit from pregnant mother to infant) in women from African, European, and Maghrebian descent. Her findings helped improve preventive strategies for toxoplasmosis infection in pregnant women in France. Moreover, she fine-combed genomic data from European, and Melanesian populations to distinguish gene variants that increase risk for thyroid cancer in these groups. This work also led her to discover novel interactions between group-specific gene variants and lifestyle factors that predispose to disease.
Tcheandjieu recently adapted machine learning to measure the shape and size of the aorta in live individuals and relate these traits to genetic variants found in people from European, Asian, and African ancestries. She identified several gene variants linked to either the diameter of the aorta or the size of the aortic valve. These variants could be used for early prediction of aortic valve disease. Tcheandjieu also conducted the largest genetic study to date for coronary artery disease in European, African, Hispanic, and Asian populations and identified new genetic variations associated with coronary artery disease among these populations.
Assistant Investigator, Gladstone Institutes
Catherine Tcheandjieu, DVM, PhD, is an assistant investigator at Gladstone Institutes.
Tcheandjieu earned a doctorate of veterinary science from the National School of Veterinary Medicine of Algiers in Algeria, and a Master’s degree in public health followed by a PhD in genetic epidemiology from the University of Paris-Saclay in France. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where she focused on the genetics of cardiovascular diseases.
Her expertise includes epidemiology, genomics, and statistics, which she applies to complex disorders such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. She specializes in mining large genomics and epidemiological datasets from diverse populations to discover genetic and environmental factors that predispose to disease and may differ between different ancestries.
Tcheandjieu is a recipient of the Stanford Postdoc Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Champion Award, the Stanford Jump Start Award, and the Million Veteran Program early career investigator award. She is a co-founder of BlackInCardio.
How Did You Get Your Start in Science?
I developed a passion for research and medicine as a child in West Cameroon. When I was 5, I adopted a sick newborn baby goat and pledged to become a veterinarian. At 12 years old, I dissected my first mouse to visualize organs and how they are interconnected.
Honors and Awards
2021 Stanford Postdoc Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Champion Award, Stanford University
2020 Jump Start Award, Stanford University
2019 Million Veteran Program Early Career Investigator Award, US Department of Veteran Affairs
2018 Stanford Cardiovascular Institute Travel Award, Stanford University
2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, International Agency of Cancer Research
2015 Fellowship Award for International Collaboration, EHESP School of Public Health (France)
2013 Predoctoral Fellowship Award, EHESP School of Public Health (France)
2010 Finalist, Best Student Award in the 5th Year of Veterinary Medicine Program, National School of Veterinary Medicine of Algiers (Algeria)
2005 National Merit Scholarship, Cameroon for Veterinary Medicine Training (Algeria)