Lea K. Davis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine


Genetic Medicine

Office Address:
507 Light Hall, Nashville, TN

Lea K. Davis, Ph.D.

Research Description 

In the Davis Lab, we are interested in the genomics of a wide range of complex phenotypes. For most complex traits, much of the genetic liability is distributed throughout the genome and therefore each individual single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) explains a very small proportion of the phenotypic variance (i.e., heritability) observed through traditional twin and family-based methods. While the contribution of each individual variant is small, for many complex or “polygenic” traits, the cumulative the effect of these contributory common SNPs is substantial. Additionally, complex traits are also influenced by rare genetic variants, and environmental factors. Our research aims to understand how polygenic risk, rare variant risk, and environment interact to result in complex traits. We study a wide range of traits including psychiatric and endocrine phenotypes and are particularly interested in understanding the genetics underlying the richness of neurodiversity in human populations. Visit our lab website: https://complextraitgenomics.org/

Research Keywords 

Human Genetics, Human Genomics, Polygenic inheritance, statistical genomics

Previous Institution 

University of Chicago

Previous Role/Title 

Research Associate, Assistant Professor of Genetic Medicine


Genetic architecture of complex traits


Tuscaloosa, AL