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Connie Mulligan - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Connie Mulligan

Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Connie Mulligan is interested in understanding patterns of human genetic variation with implications for human health and evolution.


Connie Mulligan is interested in understanding patterns of human genetic variation with implications for human health and evolution. Her research program uses molecular genetic data to investigate questions about human health and disease, with a particular focus on the basis of racial health disparities and the impact of childhood adversity on health. My research program has been funded by NSF grants for almost 20 years. In 2016, she started a collaboration with Catherine Panter-Brick (Yale, Anthropology) and Rana Dajani (Hashemite University, Jordan) to investigate risk and resilience in Syrian refugees living in Jordan. Her lab is investigating genetic and epigenetic variants that may influence response to trauma. This project was reported in Science, 2018, Lessons in Resilience. Currently, her lab is leading the only multigenerational study in humans to test for transgenerational transmission of epigenetic signatures of violence trauma.

Areas of Expertise (12)

Syrian Refugees

Impact of Stress

Complex Phenotypes

Influence of Genetics on Response to Trauma and Stress

Epigenetic Analysis

Human Evolution and Migration out of Africa and in the Democratic Republic of Congo


Effects of Maternal Trauma on Maternal and Infant Health

Genetic Analysis

Human Genetics

Biocultural Investigation

Risk and Resilience

Media Appearances (3)

Revealing the Ancestry “Blind Spot”

Explore  radio


Josephine Allen and Erika Moore are keenly aware of the racial health disparities in the conditions they study. But until recently, their experiments — like those of most biomedical engineers — didn’t incorporate information on ancestry at all. Allen develops materials used in drug delivery and tissue regeneration for cardiovascular disease, the nation’s leading cause of death, with Black Americans 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than white Americans.

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How genes and resilience affect Syrian refugee stress

UF News  online


“But why are some people better at dealing with stressful and traumatic events?” asked Connie Mulligan, anthropological genetics professor at the University of Florida and principal investigator on the paper. “Is it genetic? Is it environmental?”

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Ancient Americans arrived in a single wave, Alaskan infant's genome suggests

American Association for the Advancement of Science  online


That supports the idea that Asian migrants lingered in Beringia and became genetically isolated—the so-called Beringian standstill model—says anthropologist Connie Mulligan of the University of Florida in Gainesville. "Because they have the whole nuclear genome, you can really tell a lot about when and where this migration happened," she says. But Reich cautions that date estimates from a single genome are necessarily rough.

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Articles (5)

In Other Journals


Peter Stern, et. al


Segmentation allows a visual system to distinguish which regions of a visual scene belong to the background, which regions belong to different objects, and where the borders that constrain the regions of these objects are located. The brain uses a diversity of cues, including luminance, texture, disparity, and motion, to segregate objects from the background.

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Race reconciled II: Interpreting and communicating biological variation and race in 2021

American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Jennifer A. Raff and Connie J. Mulligan


The social upheaval that has come to define 2020 highlights the need for a continuing conversation on race and racism in bioanthropology. The COVID-19 pandemic was immeasurably worsened by structural racism and economic inequalities that contribute to persistent and pervasive racial health disparities. The killing of George Perry Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police ignited global protests about police brutality targeted to minority populations.

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Systemic racism can get under our skin and into our genes

American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Connie J. Mulligan


Many sociocultural factors, like poverty and trauma, or homelessness versus a safe neighborhood, can get “under our skin” and affect our lives. These factors may also get “into our genes” through epigenetic changes that influence how genes are expressed. Changes in gene expression can further influence how we respond to sociocultural factors and how those factors impact our physical and mental health, creating a feedback loop between our sociocultural environment and our genome.

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Dehydroepiandrosterone at birth: Response to stress and relation to demographic, pregnancy and delivery factors

Journal of Neuroendocrinology

Hayley S. Kamin, et al.


Enhanced production of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) by the foetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis enables maturational events critical for labour induction and neonatal adaptation. Despite knowledge of the interconnected nature of maternal and foetal physiology and dramatic changes in DHEA production after birth, few studies have examined DHEA levels in newborns and none have examined DHEA’s response to acute stress.

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An innovative transfer DNA experimental design and qPCR assay: Protocol and pilot study

Journal of Forensic Sciences

Samantha M. McCrane, Connie Mulligan


Forensic “touch” DNA samples are low-quantity samples that are recovered from surfaces that have been touched by single or multiple individuals. These samples can include DNA from primary contributors who directly touched the surface, as well as secondary contributors whose DNA was transferred to the surface through an intermediary. It is difficult to determine the type of transfer, or how often and under what conditions DNA transfer occurs.

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Dr. Connie Mulligan A Visit to Connie Mulligan's Lab Connie J. Mulligan Penn Anthropology Colloquium Negotiating an Academic Position with Professor Connie Mulligan