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Val Sheffield, MD, PhD

The Carver Chair in Molecular Genetics
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Director, Division of Medical Genetics
Director, Interdepartmental Research Program in Human Molecular Genetics
Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Professor of Pediatrics - Medical Genetics and Genomics

Contact Information

4181 Medical Education Research Facility (MERF)
Iowa City, IA 52242


BS, Zoology, Brigham Young University
MS, Developmental Biology, Brigham Young University
PhD, Developmental Biology, University of Chicago
MD, Medicine, with Honors, University of Chicago
Resident, Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
Fellow, Medical Genetics, University of California, San Francisco

Licensure and Certifications

Board certified in Clinical Medical Genetics
Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners
Permanent Iowa license to practice medicine and surgery

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine, Medical Scientist Training Program

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Institute for Vision Research

Research Summary

My laboratory is interested in identifying and understanding the function of genes which cause a variety of human disorders. Our research efforts have focused on the molecular genetics of monogenic disorders, as well as polygenic and multifactorial disorders. Our research efforts have resulted in the mapping of many different disease loci. In addition, we have used positional cloning methods to identify genes involved in a number of different diseases including hereditary blindness and deafness. Efforts are currently underway to use positional cloning strategies to identify additional disease-causing genes. Complex genetic disorders currently under investigation in the laboratory include hypertension, obesity, congenital heart disease and autism. In addition, we have worked on developing and improving techniques for disease mapping, positional cloning, and mutation detection. We have also had an active role in the human genome project and the rat genome project.