Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2022

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Biology & Biomedical Sciences (Computational & Systems Biology)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The human genome is much more interconnected than many people realize. In this thesis, I will outline two efforts to portray this idea. First, I will seek to display that cell fitness is an omniphenotype. That is to say, cell fitness can be used to determine whether an unknown factor interacts with a known factor for any phenotype. The human genome is sufficiently interconnected that if two factors interact with one another then that can be reflected by a multiplicative change in cell fitness. This change in fitness can be used to determine if a new factor of interest is relevant to a known factor or system related to a phenotype of interest. Second, I will use a gene-wide pan-disease approach to cluster diseases together based on which genes are statistically likely to be involved in each disease. Using this method, I will look at the similarities and differences found in diseases on a genome-wide level. Interestingly, specific autoimmune diseases appear to separate neatly from most other diseases due to the relevance of major histocompatibility complex genes. Excluding these results, the next separation from the pack occurs with a group of aging-related diseases due to relevance of genes related to lipid production. These two approaches portray the interconnectedness of the human genome by detailing that most genes are connected in some way to cell fitness and by analyzing how diseases are related to each other genetically.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Timothy T. Peterson

Committee Members

Timothy T. Peterson, Michael M. Brent, Nancy N. Saccone, Fuhai F. Li,