Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics (LHMG)
I am currently an assistant professor of human genetics in the department of Child Language Doctoral Program at the University of Kansas. I received my bachelor, master and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Before I enrolled in my Ph.D., I served for several years as a forensic DNA analyst at the National Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Pakistan. Forensic DNA facility in CEMB was the first of its kind we established in Pakistan during 2003 that provided services and training to the law and enforcement agencies. During my career in forensic DNA testing, I developed my interest to study the genetics of stuttering. I earned a Ph.D. fellowship from the Higher Education of Pakistan and enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Punjab, Lahore. During this time, I got a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda to study the genetics of stuttering with Dennis Drayna. I completed my pre-doctoral as well as post-doctoral trainings at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. During my training at NIH, I identified several stuttering loci in Pakistani as well as African families and discovered a 2nd gene AP4E1 responsible for stuttering. The product of this gene participates in intracellular trafficking pathways. Previously identified stuttering genes (GNPTAB, GNPTG, and NAGPA) encode proteins that participate in a similar cellular function, and thus evidence is now accumulating that stuttering can be fundamentally caused by disorders of intracellular pathway.