Philip J. Freda, Jr., Ph.D.

Most traits (e.g. physical characteristics, disease states, behaviors) we observe in the natural world, whether they be in ourselves, other animals, plants, or microorganisms are the culmination of the products and signals of many genes and the interactions that may exist between genes. We call traits that are controlled by many genes, complex, polygenic, or quantitative. In addition, the environment and epigenetic factors can have significant roles in how genomes behave. My research is broadly interested in understanding the genomic, epigenomic, and environmental contributions in complex traits using several approaches including but not limited to genomics, medical records, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

The image shows a distribution of human height. Height is a complex, or quantitative, trait as there are many possible phenotypes (a continuum). Human height is controlled by genetic and environmental factors as well as the interaction between the two (GxE).

l am a postdoctoral researcher in the Jason Moore Lab in the Institute for Biomedical Informatics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. My current research involves assessing the genetic and environmental risks associated with the development of opioid use disorder (OUD).