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Alexander Kulminski



   (919) 684-4962

   Erwin Mill Building
Room A106, Box 90420
2024 W. Main St.
Durham, NC 27708-0420

Alexander Kulminski

Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute


My major research interests stem from my desire to understand determinants of long and healthy life. My current research focuses on genetic and non-genetic factors influencing health, aging, and life span emphasizing the life course approach and specific properties of phenotypes that make our bodies vulnerable to diseases in late, i.e., post-reproductive, life. The original training and fifteen-year experience in the fields of physics and mathematics and fifteen-year experience in aging, health, and longevity research prepared me as multi- and interdisciplinary researcher.

I used this expertise to examine the role of systemic processes in an aging organism characterized by a composite measure, called an index of cumulative deficits or deficit index, in health, well-being and survival. These studies showed that the deficit index is a robust marker of human health, biological age, and survival chances. Most recently, I was engaged in the development and implementation of an innovative concept of the life course genetics in association studies. This concept is motivated by experimental evidences from genetics, gerontology, demography, and epidemiology, among the other disciplines, and by evolutionary theory. The results of my research show that the life-course approach in genetics of age-related traits is critical for our understanding of genetic origin of health span and life span, and for translation of genetic discoveries to health care.


Ph.D. (Physics and Mathematics), Institute of Physics, Belarus Academy of Sciences (1991)

Selected Publications

  • Nazarian A, Loika Y, He L, Culminskaya I, Kulminski AM. (2022) Genome-wide analysis identified abundant genetic modulators of contributions of the APOE alleles to the Alzheimer’s disease risk. Alzheimers Dement. Online ahead of print 2022/01/03.   [ doi: 10.1002/alz.12540  ]   [ PMID:  34978151 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Philipp I, Loika Y, He L, Culminskaya I. (2021) Protective association of the ε2/ε3 heterozygote with Alzheimer’s disease is strengthened by TOMM40-APOE variants in men. Alzheimers Dement. Epub 2021/07/27.   [ doi: 10.1002/alz.12413 ]   [ PMID:  34310032 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Philipp I, Shu L, Culminskaya I. (2021) Definitive roles of TOMM40-APOE-APOC1 variants in the Alzheimer’s risk. Neurobiol Aging. Neurobiol Aging. Epub 2021/10/10.   [ doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.09.009  ]   [ PMID:  34625307 ]
  • Loika Y, Feng F, Loiko E, Kulminski AM. (2021) Mediation of the APOE associations with Alzheimer’s and coronary heart diseases through body mass index and lipids. GeroScience. Epub 2021/09/24.   [ doi: 0.1007/s11357-021-00458-3 ]   [ PMID:  34554385 ]
  • He L, Davila-Velderrain J, Sumida TS, Hafler DA, Kellis M, Kulminski AM. (2021) NEBULA is a fast negative binomial mixed model for differential or co-expression analysis of large-scale multi-subject single-cell data. Communications biology. Communications biology. 4(1):629. Epub 2021/05/28.   [ doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02146-6 ]   [ PMID: 34040149 ]   [ PMCID: PMC8155058 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Philipp I, Loika Y, He L, Culminskaya I. (2020) Haplotype architecture of the Alzheimer’s risk in the APOE region via co-skewness. Alzheimer’s & dementia (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 12(1):e12129. Epub 2020/11/19.   [ doi: 10.1002/dad2.12129 ]   [ PMID:  33204816 ]   [ PMCID: PMC7656174 ]
  • Nazarian A, Arbeev KG, Kulminski AM. (2020) The impact of disregarding family structure on genome-wide association analysis of complex diseases in cohorts with simple pedigrees. Journal of applied genetics. 61(1):75-86. Epub 2019/11/23.   [ doi: 10.1007/s13353-019-00526-7 ]   [ PMID:  31755004 ]   [ PMCID: PMC6980752 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Loika Y, Nazarian A, Culminskaya I. (2020) Quantitative and Qualitative Role of Antagonistic Heterogeneity in Genetics of Blood Lipids. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 75(10):1811-9. Epub 2019/10/01.   [ doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz225 ]   [ PMID:  31566214 ]   [ PMCID: PMC7518561 ]
  • He L, Kulminski AM. (2020) Fast Algorithms for Conducting Large-Scale GWAS of Age-at-Onset Traits Using Cox Mixed-Effects Models. Genetics. 215(1):41-58. Epub 2020/03/07.   [ doi: 10.1534/genetics.119.302940 ]   [ PMID:  32132097 ]   [ PMCID: PMC7198273 ]
  • Loika Y, Irincheeva I, Culminskaya I, Nazarian A, Kulminski AM. (2020) Polygenic risk scores: pleiotropy and the effect of environment. GeroScience. 42(6):1635-47. Epub 2020/06/04.   [ doi: 10.1007/s11357-020-00203-2 ]   [ PMID:  32488673 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Loika Y, Culminskaya I, Huang J, Arbeev KG, Bagley O, Feitosa MF, Zmuda JM, Christensen K, Yashin AI. (2019) Long Life Family Study Research G. Independent associations of TOMM40 and APOE variants with body mass index. Aging Cell. 18(1):e12869. Epub 2018/11/22.   [ doi: 10.1111/acel.12869  ]   [ PMID:  30462377 ]   [ PMCID: PMC6351823 ]
  • Finch CE, Kulminski AM. (2019) The Alzheimer’s Disease Exposome. Alzheimers Dement. 15(9):1123-32. Epub 2019/09/15.   [ doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2019.06.3914 ]   [ PMID:  31519494 ]   [ PMCID: PMC6788638 ]
  • Kulminski AM, Loika Y, Huang J, Arbeev KG, Bagley O, Ukraintseva S, Yashin AI, Culminskaya I. (2019) Pleiotropic Meta-Analysis of Age-Related Phenotypes Addressing Evolutionary Uncertainty in Their Molecular Mechanisms. Front Genet. 10:433. Epub 2019/05/28.   [ doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00433  ]   [ PMID:  31134135 ]   [ PMCID: PMC6524409 ]
  • Nazarian A, Arbeev KG, Yashkin AP, Kulminski AM. (2019) Genetic heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s disease in subjects with and without hypertension. GeroScience. 41(2):137-54. Epub 2019/05/06.   [ doi: 10.1007/s11357-019-00071-5  ]   [ PMID:  6544706 ]   [ PMCID: PMC6544706 ]