Home » People of BARU » Svetlana Ukraintseva

Svetlana Ukraintseva



   (919) 668-2712

   Erwin Mill Building
Room A105
2024 W. Main St.
Durham, NC 27708-0420

Svetlana Ukraintseva

Associate Research Professor


I received my undergraduate degrees in Biology and Genetics from Moscow State University, Russia, and a PhD in biology and genetic epidemiology from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, for a pioneer study of genetics of asthma in relation to the age at disease onset. During the work on my PhD thesis I met Prof. Victor A. McKusick, considered by many to be a “father” of modern medical genetics, and had a privilege to have him as my advisor at the European School of Medical Genetics, Italy. Soon after completing my PhD, I joined the Max Plank Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, first as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and then as Research Scientist, leading the study of the role of biological aging in cancer risk and its epidemiological trends, which suggested that aging may not only promote but oppose cancer development in advanced yeas of life. During that time I also expanded my backgrounds in epidemiology and biodemography by completing two-year International Max Planck Research School for Demography, in Germany.

I was invited to Duke in 2003, and worked there since then, first as Research Scientist, then Senior Research Scientist, and more recently as Research Associate Professor. My research interests include understanding genetic and other causes of human aging and its universal manifestations such as decline in physical resilience, which may contribute to species longevity limits, as well as understanding the relationships between senescence and disease, and heterogeneity of longevity. I’m also interested in leveraging epidemiological information to help uncover causal factors for major diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, and prioritize potential disease mechanisms based on consistency of a biological hypothesis with observed age-patterns and time trends for the disease in population. I’m PI and Key Senior Investigator on several NIH funded projects, and have more than 130 peer-reviewed publications, including in major journals such as Nature Reviews, Stroke, European Journal of Human Genetics, and others.


Ph.D., Russian Academy of Medical Science (1998)

Selected Publications

  • Marron M.M., Singh J., Boudreau R.M., Christensen K., Cosentino S., Feitosa M.F., Minster R.L., Perls T., Schupf N., Sebastiani P., Ukraintseva S., Wojczynski M.K., and Newman A.B. (2018) A novel healthy blood pressure phenotype in the Long Life Family Study. Journal of hypertension. (36)1:43-53.   [ doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001514 ]   [ PMID: 28837423 ]
  • Yashin A.I., Fang F., Kovtun M., Wu D., Duan M., Arbeev K., Akushevich I., Kulminski A., Culminskaya I., Zhbannikov I., Yashkin A., Stallard E., and Ukraintseva S. (2017) Hidden heterogeneity in Alzheimer’s disease: Insights from genetic association studies and other analyses. Experimental Gerontology. (17)30424-2   [ doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.10.020 ]   [ PMID: 29107063 ]
  • Kulminski A.M., Kernogitski Y., Culminskaya I., Loika Y., Arbeev K.G., Bagley O., Duan M., Arbeeva L., Ukraintseva S.V., Wu D., Stallard E., and Yashin A.I. (2017) Uncoupling associations of risk alleles with endophenotypes and phenotypes: insights from the ApoB locus and heart-related traits. Aging Cell. (16)1:61-72.  [ doi: 10.1111/acel.12526 ]   [ PMID: 27683205 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5242299 ]
  • He L., Kernogitski Y., Kulminskaya I., Loika Y., Arbeev K.G., Loiko E., Bagley O., Duan M., Yashkin A., Ukraintseva S.V., Kovtun M., Yashin A.I., and Kulminski A.M. (2017) Corrigendum: Pleiotropic Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Studies Discover Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Age-Related Diseases. Frontiers in Genetics. 8:226   [ doi: 10.3389%2Ffgene.2017.00226 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5771150 ]
  • Zhbannikov I.Y., Arbeev K., Ukraintseva S., and Yashin A.I. (2017) HaploR: an R package for querying web-based annotation tools. F1000Research. 6:97   [ doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10742.1 ]   [ PMID: 28620455 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5461892 ]