Lynn Petukhova, PhD

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Lynn Petukhova, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist and an Epidemiology Merit Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Petukhova is a genetic epidemiologist who has demonstrated expertise in identifying genes that underlie both rare and common diseases, by integrating cutting-edge genomic technologies such as next generation sequencing (e.g. exome, whole genome, targeted resequencing) and genome-wide genotyping, with traditional analytic methods, including linkage analysis, autozygosity mapping and regression analysis.

Her research has helped to establish the genetic basis of one of the most common autoimmune diseases, alopecia areata, and identified disease mechanisms shared with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, providing rationale for drug repositioning and promising to significantly impact patient care.

Prior to obtaining her doctorate degree, Dr. Petukhova was Director of the Genotyping Center at Rockefeller University and subsequently established herself as a statistical geneticist in the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University, where she currently maintains active collaborations.

Her current work is focused on mapping inherited rare and common genetic variation to human traits and disorders.  She is additionally developing methods to leverage genetic evidence for characterizing molecular relationships among autoimmune disorders and for understanding how genetic variation influences patient health trajectories.


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology at CUMC

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MS, Molecular Biology, Boston College
  • BA, Biopsychology, Boston College
  • MS, 2007 Biostatistics, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • PhD, 2013 Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


The overall goal of our research program is to use information in the human genome to improve the care of patients who suffer from inflammatory skin diseases, and ultimately to prevent the onset of these disorders in healthy people. Our main focus right now is on initiatiating translational genetic studies of hidradenitis suppurativa.

Selected Publications

Betz, R. C.*, L. Petukhova*, S. Ripke*, H. Huang, A. Menelaou, S. Redler, T. Becker, S. Heilmann, T. Yamany, M. Duvic, M. Hordinsky, D. Norris, V. H. Price, J. Mackay-Wiggan, A. de Jong, G. M. DeStefano, S. Moebus, M. Bohm, U. Blume-Peytavi, H. Wolff, G. Lutz, R. Kruse, L. Bian, C. I. Amos, A. Lee, P. K. Gregersen, B. Blaumeiser, D. Altshuler, R. Clynes, P. I. de Bakker, M. M. Nothen, M. J. Daly and A. M. Christiano (2015). ""Genome-wide meta-analysis in alopecia areata resolves HLA associations and reveals two new susceptibility loci."" Nature Communications 6: 5966. *shared first author

Xing, L., Z. Dai, A. Jabbari, J. E. Cerise, C. A. Higgins, W. Gong, A. de Jong, S. Harel, G. M. DeStefano, L. Rothman, P. Singh, L. Petukhova, J. Mackay-Wiggan, A. M. Christiano and R. Clynes (2014). ""Alopecia areata is driven by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and is reversed by JAK inhibition."" Nature Medicine 20(9): 1043-1049.

Higgins, C. A.,* L. Petukhova,* S. Harel, Y. Y. Ho, E. Drill, L. Shapiro, M. Wajid and A. M. Christiano (2014). ""FGF5 is a crucial regulator of hair length in humans."" Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(29): 10648-10653. *shared first author

DeStefano, G.M., K.A. Fantauzzo, L. Petukhova, M. Kurban, M. Tadin-Strapps, B. Levy, D. Warburton, E.T. Cirulli, Y. Han, X. Sun, Y. Shen, M. Shirazi, V. Jobanputra, R. Cepeda-Valdes, J.C. Salas-Alanis, A.M.Chritiano (2013). A position effect on FGF13 is associated with X-linked congenital generalized hypertrichosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 May 7;110(19):7790-5.

Cabral, R. M., M. Kurban, M. Wajid, Y. Shimomura, L. Petukhova and A. M. Christiano (2012). ""Whole-exome sequencing in a single proband reveals a mutation in the CHST8 gene in autosomal recessive peeling skin syndrome."" Genomics 99: 202-208.

Petukhova, L., M. Duvic, M. Hordinsky, D. Norris, V. Price, Y. Shimomura, H. Kim, P. Singh, A. Lee, W. V. Chen, K. C. Meyer, R. Paus, C. A. Jahoda, C. I. Amos, P. K. Gregersen and A. M. Christiano (2010). ""Genome-wide association study in alopecia areata implicates both innate and adaptive immunity."" Nature 466: 113-117.

Shimomura, Y., D. Agalliu, A. Vonica, V. Luria, M. Wajid, A. Baumer, S. Belli, L. Petukhova, A. Schinzel, A. H. Brivanlou, B. A. Barres and A. M. Christiano (2010). ""APCDD1 is a novel Wnt inhibitor mutated in hereditary hypotrichosis simplex."" Nature 464(7291): 1043-1047.

Petukhova, L., Y. Shimomura, M. Wajid, P. Gorroochurn, S. E. Hodge and A. M. Christiano (2009). ""The effect of inbreeding on the distribution of compound heterozygotes: a lesson from Lipase H mutations in autosomal recessive woolly hair/hypotrichosis."" Human heredity 68: 117-130.

Shimomura, Y., M. Wajid, Y. Ishii, L. Shapiro, L. Petukhova, D. Gordon and A. M. Christiano (2008). ""Disruption of P2RY5, an orphan G protein-coupled receptor, underlies autosomal recessive woolly hair."" Nature genetics 40: 335-339.