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Olivia J. Veatch, PhD, MS

Olivia Veatch portrait
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Professional Background

Olivia J. Veatch, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Veatch joined the KU Medical Center faculty in July 2020 and is primarily focused on developing molecular and computational approaches useful for identifying ways to inform treatment for brain disorders using genomics data.

Dr. Veatch has a B.S. in genetics from the University of Kansas, a M.S. in molecular biosciences and bioengineering from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, and a Ph.D. in human genetics from Vanderbilt University. After earning her doctorate, she completed postdoctoral fellowships in neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she also earned certification in biomedical informatics.

Dr. Veatch is credited with nearly 40 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, protocols and book chapters. She was previously awarded a Career Development Award via the National Library of Medicine to develop an automated bioinformatics method for prioritizing clinically relevant results from genetic studies of complex disorders of the brain. She is currently PI on an R21 award from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development to elucidate the causes and consequences of sleep disturbances in children with rare genetic syndromes using electronic health record data, PI on a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences CTSA Inter-Institutional Pilot Project Award to evaluate sleep disturbances in adolescents and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a Project Leader for the The Kansas Institute for Precision Medicine funded by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences and co-PI on a Foundation for Prader-Willi Research Grant to define cell-type specific signatures and dysregulated pathways from blood and brain in PWS. She is a nationally and internationally invited lecturer and presenter. Her professional affiliations include, but are not limited to, the American Society of Human Genetics, International Society for Autism Research, World Sleep Society and the Sleep Research Society.

Education and Training
  • BS, Biological Sciences - Emphasis Genetics, University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
  • MS, Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering , University of Hawai'i - Manoa (Honolulu, HI)
  • PhD, Human Genetics , Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), Nashville, TN
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Medicine, University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Other, Biomedical Informatics, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Professional Affiliations
  • Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Research Center, GREATest EHR Working Group, Co-Chair, 2021 - Present
  • Sleep Apnea Global Interdisciplinary Consortium , Chair, 2015 - Present
  • Sleep Research Society , Member, 2015 - Present
  • International Society for Autism Research , Member, 2011 - Present
  • American Society of Human Genetics (Member) , Member, 2009 - Present



My research focuses on uniting molecular/computational genetics and informatics to inform translational medicine for disorders of the brain. I have experience leading research projects working with numerous public databases and electronic health record (EHR)-based systems, including using resources available via the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network. I am currently completing a K01 Career Development Award via the National Library of Medicine focused on the development of an automated bioinformatics method for prioritizing clinically actionable results from genetic studies of complex neurodevelopmental disorders. I am proficient in database development, designing algorithms to define phenotypes in health records, and phenome-wide/genome-wide analyses using EHRs linked to biorepositories. I aim to help bridge the gap between basic science research endeavors and the clinical environment by finding efficient ways to translate biomedical data into clinically useful information. My ultimate goal is to build platforms to support the expansion of the utility of genetics in precision medicine to encompass treatment for neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions.

Current Research and Grants
  • Using integrated omics to identify dysfunctional genetic mechanisms influencing schizophrenia and sleep disturbances (Parent Award: P20GM130423; Sub-Project ID: 7859), National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • Veatch, Olivia., J, Butler, Merlin., G, Elsea, Sarah., H, Malow, Beth., A, Sutcliffe, James., S, Moore, Jason., H. 2020. An Automated Functional Annotation Pipeline That Rapidly Prioritizes Clinically Relevant Genes for Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • Veatch, O., J, Bauer, C., R, Keenan, B., T, Josyula, N., S, Mazzotti, D., R, Bagai, K, Malow, B., A, Robishaw, J., D, Pack, A., I, Pendergrass, S., A. 2020. Characterization of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of obstructive sleep apnea using electronic health records.. BMC medical genomics, 13 (1), 105
  • Keenan, B., T, Kirchner, H., L, Veatch, O., J, Borthwick, K., M, Davenport, V., A, Feemster, J., C, Gendy, M, Gossard, T., R, Pack, F., M, Sirikulvadhana, L, Teigen, L., N, Timm, P., C, Malow, B., A, Morgenthaler, T., I, Zee, P., C, Pack, A., I, Robishaw, J., D, Derose, S., F. 2020. Multisite validation of a simple electronic health record algorithm for identifying diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 16 (2), 175-183
  • Wells, Q., S, Veatch, O., J, Fessel, J., P, Joon, A., Y, Levinson, R., T, Mosley, J., D, Held, E., P, Lindsay, C., S, Shaffer, C., M, Weeke, P., E, Glazer, A., M, Bersell, K., R, Van Driest, S., L, Karnes, J., H, Blair, M., A, Lagrone, L., W, Su, Y., R, Bowton, E., A, Feng, Z, Ky, B, Lenihan, D., J, Fisch, M., J, Denny, J., C, Roden, D., M. 2017. Genome-wide association and pathway analysis of left ventricular function after anthracycline exposure in adults.. Pharmacogenetics and genomics, 27 (7), 247-254
  • Veatch, O., J, Keenan, B., T, Gehrman, P., R, Malow, B., A, Pack, A., I. 2017. Pleiotropic genetic effects influencing sleep and neurological disorders.. The Lancet. Neurology, 16 (2), 158-170
  • Veatch, O., J, Sutcliffe, J., S, Warren, Z., E, Keenan, B., T, Potter, M., H, Malow, B., A. 2017. Shorter sleep duration is associated with social impairment and comorbidities in ASD.. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 10 (7), 1221-1238
  • Veatch, O., J, Reynolds, A, Katz, T, Weiss, S., K, Loh, A, Wang, L, Malow, B., A. 2016. Sleep in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: How Are Measures of Parent Report and Actigraphy Related and Affected by Sleep Education?. Behavioral sleep medicine, 14 (6), 665-76
  • Veatch, O., J, Pendergast, J., S, Allen, M., J, Leu, R., M, Johnson, C., H, Elsea, S., H, Malow, B., A. 2015. Genetic variation in melatonin pathway enzymes in children with autism spectrum disorder and comorbid sleep onset delay.. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45 (1), 100-10
  • White, M., J, Yaspan, B., L, Veatch, O., J, Goddard, P, Risse-Adams, O., S, Contreras, M., G. 2019. Strategies for Pathway Analysis Using GWAS and WGS Data.. Current protocols in human genetics, 100 (1), e79
  • Veatch, O., J, Veenstra-Vanderweele, J, Potter, M, Pericak-Vance, M., A, Haines, J., L. 2014. Genetically meaningful phenotypic subgroups in autism spectrum disorders.. Genes, brain, and behavior, 13 (3), 276-85