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Dima L. Chaar, PhD, MHI

Dima  Chaar, PhD, MHI

Dima L. Chaar, PhD, MHI, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. She received her doctorate in Epidemiologic Sciences from the University of Michigan, where she completed her dissertation titled “Socio-Contextual and Multi-Omic Associations with Cognitive Function and Structural Brain Measures in Older African Americans.” She also received her Masters of Health Informatics, with a certificate in Data Science, from the University of Michigan as well as her Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience & Behavior from Barnard College of Columbia University.

Dr. Chaar is interested in addressing questions of human health and disease through rigorous statistical analysis at the interface of genomics, statistics and computer science. She investigates the relationship between multi-omic layers of data (genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic data) and age-related chronic diseases. She works with large, multi-ethnic cohort studies to investigate a broad range of traits such as non-melanoma skin cancer, eye diseases, hernias, dementia and cerebrovascular diseases. She also studies how genetic/epigenetic determinants of health interact with non-genetic risk factors (e.g., environmental factors) to shape disease risk in vulnerable populations. Her prior research focused on how health information technology can ameliorate caregiver burden by analyzing Electronic Health Record data and conducting qualitative research methods.

Current Positions

  • Research Fellow

Section Affiliations

Primary Research Interests

  • Genetic epidemiology and pharmacogenomics
  • Genetic factors influencing cognitive function, cognitive decline, and dementia
  • Genetics of vision disorders
  • Genetics of non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Genetic determinants of cerebrovascular diseases
  • Genetics of hernia susceptibility
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Multi-omic and socio-contextual interactions


Multi-ancestry transcriptome-wide association studies of cognitive function, white matter hyperintensity, and Alzheimer’s disease

Authors: Chaar, Dima L;Smith, JA;et al.

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Jan 01:2024.01.03.24300768. doi: 10.1101/2024.01.03.24300768

SNP-by-CpG Site Interactions in ABCA7 Are Associated with Cognition in Older African Americans

Authors: Chaar, Dima L;Nguyen, Kim;Wang, Yi-Zhe;Ratliff, Scott M;Mosley, Thomas H;Kardia, Sharon L R;Smith, Jennifer A;Zhao, Wei

Genes (Basel). 2022 Nov 18;13(11):pii: 2150. doi: 10.3390/genes13112150..

PubMed abstract

Accelerated DNA methylation age and medication use among African Americans.

Authors: Kho, Minjung;Wang, Yi Zhe;Chaar, Dima;Zhao, Wei;Ratliff, Scott M;Mosley, Thomas H;Peyser, Patricia A;Kardia, Sharon L R;Smith, Jennifer A

Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Jun 03;13(11):14604-14629. doi: 10.18632/aging.203115..

PubMed abstract

Functional deficit in hippocampal activity during fear extinction recall in the single prolonged-stress model of PTSD in male rats.

Authors: Winters, Jesse J;Rodriguez, Elizabeth;Liberzon, Israel;et al.

Behav Brain Res. 2021 Jan 01;396:112902. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112902. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

PubMed abstract

Development of a National Caregiver Health Survey for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: Qualitative Study of Cognitive Interviews and Verbal Probing.

Authors: Kedroske, Jacob;Koblick, Sarah;Chaar, Dima;Mazzoli, Amanda;O'Brien, Maureen;Yahng, Lilian;Vue, Rebecca;Chappell, Grant;Shin, Ji Youn;Hanauer, David A;Choi, Sung Won

JMIR Form Res. 2020 Jan 23;4(1):e17077. doi: 10.2196/17077..

PubMed abstract

A Mobile Health App (Roadmap 2.0) for Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: Qualitative Study on Family Caregivers’ Perspectives and Design Considerations.

Authors: Chaar, Dima;Shin, Ji Youn;Mazzoli, Amanda;Vue, Rebecca;Kedroske, Jacob;Chappell, Grant;Hanauer, David A;Barton, Debra;Hassett, Afton L;Choi, Sung Won

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 Oct 24;7(10):e15775. doi: 10.2196/15775..

PubMed abstract

Impact of a health information technology tool addressing information needs of caregivers of adult and pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients.

Authors: Fauer, Alex J;Brookshire, Kristina;Choi, Sung Won;et al.

Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jun;27(6):2103-2112. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4450-4. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

PubMed abstract

Design considerations for family-centered health management: preliminary findings with pediatric BMT patients

Authors: Shin, J. Y;Chaar, Dima L;Choi, S. W;et al.

IDC '18: Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Interaction Design and Children. 2018 Jun 19;593–598. doi: 10.1145/3202185.3210781

The Role of Family Caregiving in Adult and Pediatric Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Using Health Information Technology to Advance Patient-Centered Care.

Authors: Fauer, A;Chaar, Dima L;Choi, S. W;et al.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018 Mar 01;24(3):S484–S485. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.12.498

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