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Genetics and Biochemistry Profiles

Leigh Anne Clark

Associate Professor
Genetics and Biochemistry Department

Office: 057B Life Sciences Facility
Phone: 864-656-4696
Personal Website:


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Genetics
Texas A&M University 2004

B.S. Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University 2000

 Courses Taught

GEN4500 Comparative Genetics
GEN4700 Human Genetics

 Research Interests

My laboratory studies canine inherited diseases to 1) improve the health and quality of life for dogs and 2) use the dog as a model to better understand the genetics underlying mammalian hereditary diseases.


Tsai KL, Vernau KM, Winger K, Zwueste DM, Sturges BK, Knipe M, Williams DC, Anderson KJ, Evans JM, Guo LT, Clark LA, Shelton GD (2019). Congenital myasthenic syndrome in Golden Retrievers is associated with a novel COLQ mutation. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (in press).

Tsai KL, Evans JM, Noorai RN, Starr-Moss AN, Clark LA (2019). Novel Y chromosome retrocopies in canids revealed through a genome-wide association study for sex. Genes 10(4):320.

Murphy S, Recio A, de la Fuente C, Shelton GD, Clark LA (2019). A glycine transporter SLC6A5 frameshift mutation causes startle disease in Spanish greyhounds. Human Genetics 138:509.

Murphy S, Evans JM, Tsai KL, Clark LA (2018). Length variations within the Merle retrotransposon of canine PMEL: correlating genotype with phenotype. Mobile DNA 9:26.

Cox ML, Evans JM, Davis AG, Guo LT, Levy JR, Starr-Moss AN, Salmela E, Hytonen MK, Lohi H, Campbell KP, Clark LA, Shelton GD (2017). Exome sequencing reveals independent SGCD deletions causing limb girdle muscular dystrophy in Boston terriers. Skeletal Muscle 7:15.

Evans JM, Noorai RE, Tsai KL, Starr-Moss AN, Hill CM, Anderson KJ, Famula TR, Clark LA (2017). Beyond the MHC: A canine model of dermatomyositis shows a complex pattern of genetic risk involving novel loci. PLoS Genetics 13: e1006604. (Cover Feature)

Evans JM, Cox ML, Huska J, Li F, Gaitero L, Guo LT, Casal ML, Granzier HL, Shelton GD, Clark LA (2016). Exome sequencing reveals a nebulin nonsense mutation in a dog model of nemaline myopathy. Mammalian Genome 27: 495-502.

Rinz CJ, Lennon VA, James F, Thoreson J, Tsai KL, Starr-Moss AN, Humpries HD, Guo LT, Palmer AC, Clark LA, Shelton GD (2015). A CHRNE frameshift mutation causes congenital myasthenic syndrome in young Jack Russell terriers. Neuromuscular Disorders 25:921-927.

Evans JM, Tsai KL, Starr-Moss AN, Steiner JM, Clark LA (2015). Association of DLA-DQB1 alleles with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in Pembroke Welsh corgis. Animal Genetics 46: 462-465. doi: 10.1111/age.12317

Rinz CJ, Levine J, Minor KM, Humphries HD, Lara R, Starr-Moss AN, Guo LT, Williams DC, Shelton GD, Clark LA (2014). A COLQ missense mutation in Labrador Retrievers having congenital myasthenic syndrome. PLoS ONE 9: e106425.

Tsai KL, Starr-Moss AN, Venkataraman GM, Robinson C, Kennedy LJ, Steiner JM, Clark LA (2013). Alleles of the major histocompatibility complex play a role in the pathogenesis of pancreatic acinar atrophy in dogs. Immunogenetics 65: 501-509.

Noorai RE, Freese NH, Wright LM, Chapman SC, Clark LA (2012). Genome-wide association mapping and identification of candidate genes for the rumpless and ear-tufted traits of the Araucana chicken. PLoS ONE 7: e40974.

Tsai KL, Noorai RE, Starr-Moss AN, Quignon P, Ostrander EA, Steiner JM, Murphy KE, Clark LA (2012). Genome-wide association studies for multiple diseases of the German Shepherd Dog. Mammalian Genome 23: 203-211.

Gill JL, Tsai KL, Krey C, Noorai RE, Vanbellinghen JF, Garosi LS, Shelton GD, Clark LA, Harvey RJ (2012). A canine BCAN microdeletion associated with Episodic Falling Syndrome. Neurobiology of Disease 45:130-136.

Clark LA, Cox ML (2012). Current status of genetic studies of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in dogs. Invited review for Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 27: 109-112.

Clark LA, Tsai KL, Starr AN, Nowend KL, Murphy KE (2011). A missense mutation of the 20S proteasome β2 subunit of Great Danes having harlequin coat patterning. Genomics 97: 244-248.

Spadafora D, Hawkins EC, Murphy KE, Clark LA, Ballard ST (2010). Naturally-occurring mutations in the canine CFTR gene. Physiological Genomics 42: 480-485.

Strain G, Clark LA, Wahl JM, Turner A, Murphy KE (2009). Prevalence of deafness in dogs heterozygous or homozygous for the merle allele. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 23: 282-286.

Wahl JM, Herbst S, Clark LA, Tsai KL, Murphy KE (2008). A review of hereditary diseases of the German Shepherd Dog. Journal of Veterinary Behavior 3: 255-65.

Clark LA, Starr AN, Tsai KL, Murphy KE (2008). Genome-wide linkage scan localizes the harlequin locus in the Great Dane to chromosome 9. Gene 418: 49-52.

Clark LA, Tsai KL, Murphy KE (2008). Alleles of DLA-DRB1 are not unique in German Shepherd Dogs having degenerative myelopathy. Animal Genetics 39: 332.

Wahl JM, Clark LA, Skalli O, Ambrus A, Rees CA, Mansell JL, Murphy KE (2008). Analysis of gene transcript profiling and immunobiology in Shetland sheepdogs with dermatomyositis. Veterinary Dermatology 19: 52-58.