Dr. Kari North

Kari North, PhD

Associate Dean for Research
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
Carolina Center for Genome Sciences
137 East Franklin Street, Suite 306
CB #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. North is a professor of epidemiology in the UNC Department of Epidemiology and has developed a strong multidisciplinary research program evaluating the genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors.

Dr. North leads the UNC Department of Epidemiology’s CVD Genetic Epidemiology Computational Laboratory, a collaborative assembly of faculty members, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, and staff members spanning UNC departments with collective expertise in both family- and population-based genetic epidemiological research.

At the national level, Dr. North currently serves as a permanent member on the CASE-EPIC Panel A study section, is an editorial board member of multiple prominent journals and serves in several elected leadership roles in The Obesity Society and in the American Heart Association Epidemiology Council.

At UNC, Dr. North has been engaged with several interdisciplinary centers that foster collaborative research in genetics.

Kari North in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

First Author Abstract Top 10 AHA Specialty Conferences
2012, UNC-CH

Senior Author Abstract top 10 AHA Specialty Conferences
2012, UNC-CH

Review Committee for Scientific Direction
2011, Helmholtz Institute

First Author Abstract Selected as among top 10% of all accepted abstracts
2010, American Heart Association’s 10-day Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

First Author Abstract Selected as among top 10% of all accepted abstracts
2010, American Heart Association’s 10-day Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Finalist for Sandra Daughterty's award for excellence in CVD and hypertension epidemiology
2005, American Heart Association’s 10-day Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Winner of Roger R Williams award for excellence in genetics research
2004, American Heart Association’s 10-day Seminar on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Recipient of Carroll D Clark award to present a poster at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
1994, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas

National Institute of Health Summer Fellowship
1992, NIH

1992, Pi Gamma Mu National Science Honors Society

Golden Key National Honors Society
1992, University of South Florida, Tampa

Dean's List of Scholars
1990, University of South Florida, Tampa

Teaching Interests

Genetic Epidemiology
Advanced Genetic Epidemiology

Research Activities

Genetic Epidemiology
Statistical Genetics
Cardiovascular Disease
Type 2 Diabetes

Service Activities

Member, American Heart Association Nutrition, Physical Activity, Metabolism, and Obesity Committee, 2011-2016
Member, Genetics of Anthropometric Traits (Giant) Steering Committee, 2012-2016
Member, Invited Review Board for Helmholtz Zentrum München, 2011
Chair, PAGE Steering Committee
Member, WHI Publications Committee, 2011-2016
Member, GWAS Catalog Advisory Board, 2013 - current
Member, Scientific Meeting Planning Committee for the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association Council of Cardiovascular Epidemiology, the International Genetic Epidemiological Society, the Obesity Society
Co-Chair and Grant Reviewer, American Heart Association Research Program
Invited Abstract Reviewer, American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology , The Obesity Society, American Society of Human Genetics, American Diabetes Association, International Genetic Epidemiology Society

Key Publications

Large-Scale Genetic Studies of Body Mass Index Provide Insight Into the Biological Basis of Obesity. Locke AE, Kahali B, Berndt SI, Justice AE, Pers TH, Day FR, Powell C, Vedantam S, … North KE*, Ingelsson E*, Hirschhorn JN*, Loos R*, Speliotes EK (2015). Nature, 518(7538), 197-506.

Sex-stratified genome-wide association studies in 270,000 individuals 2 show evidence for sexual dimorphism in genetic loci for anthropometric traits. Randall JC, Winkler TW, Kutalik Z, Berndt SI, Jackson AU, Monda KL, Kilpeläinen TO, … Abecasis G, McCarthy MI, Hirschhorn JN, Qi L, Loos RJF*, Lindgren CM*, North KE*, Heid IM* (2013). Plos Genetics, 12(518), 197-206.

A meta-analysis identifies new loci associated with body mass index in individuals of African ancestry. Monda KL, Chen GK, Taylor KC, Palmer C, Edwards TL, Lange LA, Ng MC, … Zonderman AB; NABEC Consortium; UKBEC Consortium; BioBank Japan Project; AGEN Consortium, Kooperberg C, Papanicolaou GJ, Henderson BE, Reiner AP, Hirschhorn JN*, Loos RJ*, North KE*, Haiman CA* (2013). Nat Genet, 45(6), 690-696.

The Influence of obesity related single nucleotide polymorphisms on BMI across the Life Course: the PAGE Study. Graff M, Gordon-Larsen P, Lim U, Fowke JH, Love SA, Fesinmeyer M, Wilkens, … Buyske S, Buzková P, Hindorff LA, Matise T, Crawford D, Haiman C, Peters U, North KE (2013). Diabetes, 62(5), 1763-1767.

Staff/Administrative Duties

Member, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, 2002-current
Member, Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, UNC Chapel Hill, 2002-current
Member, Genomics Data Task Force, 2012-2013
Member, Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility, UNC Chapel Hill, 2004-2013
Member, Interdisciplinary Obesity Center, Carolina Population Center, UNC Chapel Hill, 2004-2011
Grant Reviewer, TRACS Research Award, Population Sciences Research Award, Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility Award, UNC Chapel Hill, 2003 - 2014
Member- Epidemiology Chair’s Council, Department of Epidemiology (2012-present)
Member- Epidemiology’s Admission Committee


  • Postdoc, Genetic Epidemiology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 2001
  • PhD, Anthropological Genetics , University of Kansas, 2000
  • MA, Anthropological Genetics, University of Kansas, 1995
  • BA, Anthropology, University of South Florida, 1992