Rebecca Darrah, PhD

Rebecca Darrah


Phone: 216.368.0726


Assistant Professor

Research Interests

  • Studying the genetics of airway diseases
  • Determining how genes associating with disease severity are exerting their effects on phenotype
  • Studies on TGFb1, EDNRA and most recently AGTR2
  • The use of mouse models to understand the effects of disease modifying genes
  • I am working closely with several investigators to characterize the pulmonary attributes of CF mice, from breathing mechanics to MRI imaging techniques and response to infection. We have recently discovered the first CF animal model of spontaneous lung infection, and our preliminary data suggest new therapeutic strategies for CF patient care
  • Studying the genetics of asthma susceptibility and the relationship between asthma and obesity using asthmatic and obese mouse models.

Education Interests

  • Assistant Director of the Genetic Counseling Training Program at Case Western Reserve University. My responsibilities include teaching, serving on thesis committees, mentoring students in laboratory, interviewing prospective students, supervising the students’ clinical rotations, and providing one-on-one guidance.
  • At the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing I lecture on clinical genetics, and molecular genetics to the graduate students. I look forward to mentoring graduate students in the genetics lab.

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology: College of Wooster 1993 
  • Master of Arts in Bioethics: Case Western Reserve University 1998
  • Master of Science in Genetic Counseling: Case Western Reserve University 2000
  • Doctorate of Philosophy: Genetics: Case Western Reserve University 2010

Recent Publications

  • Darrah RJ, Mitchell AL, Campanaro CK, Barbato ES, Litman P, Sattar A, Hodges CA, Drumm ML, Jacono FJ. (2016). "Early pulmonary disease manifestations in cystic fibrosis mice." Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. doi:10.1016/j.jcf.2016.05.002
  • Darrah R, Nelson R, Damato EG, Decker M, Matthews A, Hodges CA. (2016). "Growth Deficiency in Cystic Fibrosis Is Observable at Birth and Predictive of Early Pulmonary Function." Biological Research for Nursing. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27081158.
  • Decker, M.J., Muller, K.J., Keating, G.L., Damato, E.G., & Darrah, R. Maternal dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids confers neuroprotection against hypoxia-induced dopamine dysfunction. Sleep Science. doi:10.1016/j.slsci.2016.05.007
  • Drumm ML, Konstan MW, Schlucther MD, Handler A, Pace R, Zou F, Zariwala M, Fargo D, Xu A, Dunn JM, Darrah RJ, Dorfman R, Sandford AJ, Corey M, Zielenski J, Durie P, Goddard K, Yankaskas JR, Wright FA, Knowles MR; Gene Modifier Study Group. (2005) “Genetic Modifiers of lung disease in cystic fibrosis”. New England Journal of Medicine 353(14): 1443:53.
  • Darrah R, McKone E, O’Connor C, Rodgers C, Genatossio A, McNamara S, Gibson R, Stuart Elborn J, Ennis M, Gallagher CG, Kalsheker N, Wiese D, Dunn J, Smith P, Pace R, Londono D, Goddard KA, Knowles MR, Drumm ML. (2010) “EDNRA variants associate with smooth muscle mRNA levels, cell proliferation rates, and cystic fibrosis pulmonary disease severity.” Physiological Genomics 41(1):71-77. PMCID: PMC2841492
  • Darrah, R; Mitchell, A; Bederman, I; Hodges, C; Campanaro, C; Drumm, M; Jacono, F (2013) “Cystic Fibrosis Mice Exhibit an Increased Resting Respiratory Rate”. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis Jan.3 epub ahead of press. PubMed - as supplied by publisher
  • Langfelder-Schwind, E; Karczeski, B; Strecker, M; Redman, C; Zaleski, C; Sugarman, E; Brown, T; Keiles, S; Ghate, S; Powers, A; and Darrah, R “Cystic Fibrosis Mutation Analysis in Genetic Counseling Practice, 2013 Updated Recommendations of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.” (2013) Journal of Genetic Counseling (in press)
  • Ross K, Darrah RJ, Hodges CA, Lang L, Kelley T. Isoprenoid/RhoA regulation of airway smooth muscle growth: implications for obesity-related asthma. (2013) Journal of Allergy. (in press)

Accreditations and awards

  • Board Certified Genetic Counselor (2002)