Carole Ober, the Blum-Riese Professor in the Departments of Human Genetics and Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been named chair of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. Ober's pioneering study into the Hutterite community in South Dakota, starting in the early 1980s, led to significant genetic discoveries, providing insight into human reproductive fitness and fecundity, recombination and mutation rates and sex-specific genetic architecture. More recently, Ober published findings in the New England Journal of Medicine about a high-risk birth cohort from Madison, Wis., revealing that specific genetic mutations heightened susceptibility to asthma in children who wheezed with human rhinovirus infection before the age of 3. Ober has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University 1979 and a B.A. from George Washington University.