Christopher Loewen is an associate professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He did his postdoctoral training under the supervision of Timothy Levine at University College London, where he was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellow.
Loewen’s laboratory develops high-throughput genetic screening technologies in yeast (called ‘synthetic genetic analysis’ [SGA]) to study fundamental aspects of cell physiology and human disease. He has been applying these technologies to the study of autism spectrum disorder genes using an approach he pioneered called ‘sentinel interaction mapping’ (SIM). SIM exploits genetic interactions in yeast to create high-throughput in vivo functional assays for human disease genes, used to assess the effects of disease-causing mutations on gene function.