Emily Hodges

2013 Regional Award Finalist — Post-Doc

Emily Hodges

Current Position:
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Previously at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)

Genetics & Genomics

Recognized for: Contributions in developing genome-scale techniques for next-generation sequencing

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise:  Genetics, genomics, epigenetics

Emily Hodges


PhD, Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
BA, Biology and French, Rhodes College

Emily Hodges studies the epigenetic mechanisms responsible for changes in gene expression in higher eukaroyotes. She is interested in how DNA methylation patterns are established in stem and differentiated cells, specifically the molecular mechanisms linking the loss of DNA methylation to enhancer activation and how sequence variation may influence these processes. Hodges played a vital role in the development of novel techniques for next-generation sequencing using exome sequencing or targeted exome capture methods to identify and map genetic variation. Some of these techniques have been used to profile BRCAX mutations for breast cancer and amplify Neandertal DNA from bone fossils.

Hodges’ work aims to provide insight into how noncoding variation contributes to interindividual differences in gene regulation and disease susceptibility over time.

“Our role as scientists is to be strong advocates for the promotion of basic research, both at the level of government funding, but also in the public domain. We have a responsibility to communicate the impact of our work, making it relatable to matters that enrich our lives in very tangible ways.”

Key Publications:

  1. Schlesinger F, Smith AD, Gingeras TR, Hannon GJ & Hodges E. De novo DNA demethylation and non-coding transcription define active intergenic regulatory elements. Genome Res. 2013; [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Hodges E, Molaro A, Dos Santos CO, Thekkat P, Song Q, Uren PJ, et al. Directional DNA methylation changes and complex intermediate states accompany lineage specificity in the adult hematopoietic compartment. Molecular Cell. 2011; 44:17-28.
  3. Burbano HA, Hodges E, Green RE, Briggs AW, Krause J, Meyer M, et al. (2010). Targeted investigation of the Neandertal genome by array-based sequence capture.Science. 2010; 328: 723-725.
  4. Hodges E, Xuan Z, Balija V, Kramer M, Molla MN, Smith SW, et al. (2007). Genome-wide in situ exon capture for selective resequencing. Nature Genetics. 2007; 39:1522-1527.

Other Honors:

Swedish National Graduate Fellowship for Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics, 2001-2006
Rhodes College Presidential Scholarship, 1994-1998