Our department head, Joyce Schroeder, had the wonderful idea to engage some of UA’s fine arts students to represent our department’s research. I particularly like Elena Makansi‘s representation of our work!
Our recent work with Erik Knudsen on variant calling in tumors is now on bioRxiv. The paper introduces a new approach for analyzing genetic variants called from next-gen sequencing of tumors. A key challenge in such sequencing is spurious variants calls, particularly when sequencing tumors that have been xenografted into mice. We introduce and characterize a simple BLAST-based algorithm for removing spurious calls caused by mouse contamination or paralogs in the genome. This algorithm is as effective as much more computationally or bioinformatically intense approaches. Our testing also revealed biases that may be introduced by commonly used variant callers, an important caution for the community. Congratulations Brian!
Our collaborative paper with Michael Hammer on polygenic adaptation in Siberians has been published in MBE. In the paper, we develop a comprehensive model of the join demographic history of Europeans, East Asians, and Siberians. We then use that model as a null model to scan for gene sets enriched in signatures of population-specific adaptation. Three of our hit gene sets are related to diet, particularly fat metabolism, consistent with adaptation to a fat-rich animal diet. Congratulations Benson! (Also thank you to co-author Ludmila Osipova for the accompanying photo.)
Ryan is please to announce that he has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
He gives his heartfelt thanks all his current and former students and postdocs. They truly accomplish the groups’ research, and mentoring them is the best part of his job. He also thanks all his colleagues: within MCB, the University of Arizona, and across the globe. He is thrilled to be part of the vibrant scientific community.
Our paper on using two-locus statistics for demographic history inference has been accepted for publication in Genetics. Congratulations Aaron!