Carol Bult, Professor
Carol explains "systems genetics"
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A native of Michigan, Dr. Carol Bult earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at George Mason University in Virginia before pursuing a doctorate in genetics at the University of New Hampshire. Her postdoctoral positions included a two-year stint at The Smithsonian Institution, where she helped to pioneer the then-nascent field of comparative evolutionary biology. A founding faculty member of The Institute for Genomic Research in Maryland, Dr. Bult was recruited by The Jackson Laboratory in 1997.
"My lab’s research program focuses on two major areas: bioinformatics and developmental genomics," she says. "In the area of bioinformatics we focus on building information systems that can facilitate the use of the laboratory mouse as a model system for understanding normative biology and disease processes in humans."
Dr. Bult and her research team are members of the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) consortium, working collaboratively with other in-house investigators to build and maintain databases that contain the most comprehensive collection of integrated functional genetic and genomic data for the laboratory mouse available in the public domain. "We also maintain the Mouse Phenome Database, which contains baseline phenotype measurement for hundreds of traits across scores of inbred lines of mice," she says. "We recently released a comprehensive gene catalog for the reference mouse genome assembly and MouseCyc, a database of curated biochemical pathways in the laboratory mouse."
In the area of developmental genomics, Dr. Bult’s research team collaborates with researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins University, using insights into the molecular genetics of normal lung development in laboratory mice as a framework for identifying key genes and pathways in lung diseases such as cancer, congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and pulmonary fibrosis.
When not at work, Dr. Bult can often be found on a bicycle. "I’m an avid road cyclist and have recently started racing my bike up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire every year," she says. "And for more than 10 years now, I’ve played trumpet in the Bar Harbor Town Band and been a member of the Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue team."