Professor of Medicine
Division
Genetic Medicine

Division Director, Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine

Diversity Liaison

Professional Bio

Nancy J. Cox, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Genetic Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Cox completed her PhD at Yale University in 1982 and conducted postdoctoral research at Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1987, where she spent her academic faculty career until she was recruited to Vanderbilt in January 2015 to lead the new Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI). As Founding Director of the VGI, Dr. Cox is focused on recruiting world-class genetics and genomics scientists to the Institute, with the primary goal of making Vanderbilt’s DNA databank, BioVU, into an unparalleled engine for discovery and translation in human genetics and genomics. Dr. Cox initiated the first large-scale genetic/genomic consortium in type 2 diabetes, and she has active research and advisory roles in many of the top genomic consortia that provide the foundation for current studies in human genetics and genomics. Dr. Cox also has an active research program in data integration, particularly in the integration of functional genomic information to aid in discovery and interpretation of associations of genome variation with common disease. Her lab was the first to show that most of the common variant associations to common human diseases and complex human traits appear to be regulatory in function. She has more than 280 peer-reviewed publications and was a co-winner of the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research Landon Award and winner of the 2010 Leadership Award in Genetic Epidemiology. She was named a Pritzker Scholar in 2012 and a Distinguished Faculty from the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago in 2013. She is former editor of Genetic Epidemiology (2006-2011), a former member of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Human Genetics, and is Member-at-Large for Biological Sciences in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Education

PhD - Human Genetics - Yale University - 1982
Fellowship - Genetic Epidemiology - Washing University - 1985