Dan Evans, Ph.D., Associate Scientist

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Identifying the genes and molecular pathways underlying common age-related diseases
  • Regional association plot of the NPAS2 gene region

    Regional association plot of the NPAS2 gene region. Gene region from UCSC RefSeq gene track, chromosome 2, 100,794,551–100,989,160, genome build 36. Association P values are from the model-free two degrees of freedom test. Gray circles mark single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) association P > 0.05, blue circles mark The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) sleep onset time SNP association P ≤ 0.05, and red circles mark The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) pseudo-F statistic SNP association P ≤ 0.05. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was calculated using phased chromosomes and measured in r2 units. Dashed line indicates significance threshold using multiple testing procedures as described in methods.

    Source: Evans, DS et al. Common genetic variants in ARNTL and NPAS2 and at chromosome 12p13 are associated with objectively measured sleep traits in the elderly. Sleep 2013;36(3):431-46. doi: 10.5665/sleep.2466 (Adapted from Figure 2)


Research Overview

  • Dr. Dan Evans and colleagues at CPMCRI and the San Francisco Coordinating Center are using high-throughput and sequencing methods to study age-related diseases. Their research focuses on three areas:
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of osteoarthritis to identify genetic variants associated with this condition, which affects approximately 40% of people aged 70 and older. Projects are underway to uncover the functional impact of associated genetic variants, which will help shed light on the biological processes underlying osteoarthritis.
  • Identification of genetic variants associated with sleep traits: Changes in the timing and quality of sleep occur as humans age. A highly conserved set of genes, termed “clock genes,” regulate circadian processes including sleep in diverse organisms. Dr. Evans and colleagues found that genetic variants in clock genes are associated with sleep timing and quality in the elderly. They are investigating the relationship between clock gene variants and other age-related traits to better understand the connection between circadian biology and aging.
  • Understanding and comparing population-specific genetic variation in complex human traits: Most GWAS have been conducted in European populations; performing GWAS in non-European populations can help identify novel genetic associations due to population-specific genetic variation. Dr. Evans’ cross-population studies focus on complex heritable quantitative traits related to heart function, specifically the conduction of excitatory electrical signals.

Learn more about research in the Center for Research on Human Aging.



Dr. Evans received a PhD in molecular and cell biology and an MPH in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.


Publication Search


Taylor KC, Evans DS, Edwards DRV, Edwards TL, Sofer T, Li G, Liu Y, Franceschini N, Jackson RD, Giri A, Donneyong M, Psaty B, Rotter JI, LaCroix AZ, Jordan JM, Robbins JA, Lewis B, Stefanick ML, Liu Y, Garcia M, Harris T, Cauley JA, North KE, A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of clinical fracture in 10,012 African American women. Bone Rep

Ben-Avraham D, Karasik D, Verghese J, Lunetta KL, Smith JA, Eicher JD, Vered R, Deelen J, Arnold AM, Buchman AS, Tanaka T, Faul JD, Nethander M, Fornage M, Adams HH, Matteini AM, Callisaya ML, Smith AV, Yu L, De Jager PL, Evans DA, Gudnason V, Hofman A, Pattie A, Corley J, Launer LJ, Knopman DS, Parimi N, Turner ST, Bandinelli S, Beekman M, Gutman D, Sharvit L, Mooijaart SP, Liewald DC, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ, Ohlsson C, Moed M, Verlinden VJ, Mellström D, van der Geest JN, Karlsson M, Hernandez D, McWhirter R, Liu Y, Thomson R, Tranah GJ, Uitterlinden AG, Weir DR, Zhao W, Starr JM, Johnson AD, Ikram MA, Bennett DA, Cummings SR, Deary IJ, Harris TB, Kardia SL, Mosley TH, Srikanth VK, Windham BG, Newman AB, Walston JD, Davies G, Evans DS, Slagboom EP, Ferrucci L, Kiel DP, Murabito JM, Atzmon G, The complex genetics of gait speed: genome-wide meta-analysis approach. Aging (Albany NY)

Noordam R, Sitlani CM, Avery CL, Stewart JD, Gogarten SM, Wiggins KL, Trompet S, Warren HR, Sun F, Evans DS, Li X, Li J, Smith AV, Bis JC, Brody JA, Busch EL, Caulfield MJ, Chen YI, Cummings SR, Cupples LA, Duan Q, Franco OH, Méndez-Giráldez R, Harris TB, Heckbert SR, van Heemst D, Hofman A, Floyd JS, Kors JA, Launer LJ, Li Y, Li-Gao R, Lange LA, Lin HJ, de Mutsert R, Napier MD, Newton-Cheh C, Poulter N, Reiner AP, Rice KM, Roach J, Rodriguez CJ, Rosendaal FR, Sattar N, Sever P, Seyerle AA, Slagboom PE, Soliman EZ, Sotoodehnia N, Stott DJ, Stürmer T, Taylor KD, Thornton TA, Uitterlinden AG, Wilhelmsen KC, Wilson JG, Gudnason V, Jukema JW, Laurie CC, Liu Y, Mook-Kanamori DO, Munroe PB, Rotter JI, Vasan RS, Psaty BM, Stricker BH, Whitsel EA, A genome-wide interaction analysis of tricyclic/tetracyclic antidepressants and RR and QT intervals: a pharmacogenomics study from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium. J Med Genet

Evans DS, Avery CL, Nalls MA, Li G, Barnard J, Smith EN, Tanaka T, Butler AM, Buxbaum SG, Alonso A, Arking DE, Berenson GS, Bis JC, Buyske S, Carty CL, Chen W, Chung MK, Cummings SR, Deo R, Eaton CB, Fox ER, Heckbert SR, Heiss G, Hindorff LA, Hsueh WC, Isaacs A, Jamshidi Y, Kerr KF, Liu F, Liu Y, Lohman KK, Magnani JW, Maher JF, Mehra R, Meng YA, Musani SK, Newton-Cheh C, North KE, Psaty BM, Redline S, Rotter JI, Schnabel RB, Schork NJ, Shohet RV, Singleton AB, Smith JD, Soliman EZ, Srinivasan SR, Taylor HA Jr, Van Wagoner DR, Wilson JG, Young T, Zhang ZM, Zonderman AB, Evans MK, Ferrucci L, Murray SS, Tranah GJ, Whitsel EA, Reiner AP, CHARGE QRS Consortium., Sotoodehnia N, Fine-mapping, novel loci identification, and SNP association transferability in a genome-wide association study of QRS duration in African Americans. Hum Mol Genet

Willcox BJ, Morris BJ, Tranah GJ, Chen R, Masaki KH, He Q, Willcox DC, Allsopp RC, Moisyadi S, Gerschenson M, Davy PMC, Poon LW, Rodriguez B, Newman AB, Harris TB, Cummings SR, Liu Y, Parimi N, Evans DS, Donlon TA, Longevity-Associated FOXO3 Genotype and its Impact on Coronary Artery Disease Mortality in Japanese, Whites, and Blacks: A Prospective Study of Three American Populations. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci

Dan Evans, Ph.D., Associate Scientist
Primary Research Interests
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of osteoarthritis
  • Genetic variants associated with sleep and sleep disorders
  • Population-specific genetic variation in complex human traits such as heart function