We aim to understand the function and evolution of the complex molecular networks that underlie life. To do so, we integrate computational systems biology, population genetics, and molecular evolution. We build and analyze mathematical simulations of protein networks to probe their function, and we analyze genomic data to undercover signatures of population history and natural selection, with an emphasis on humans. Our group is interdisciplinary and collaborative, with an atmosphere that promotes both hard work and creativity.


January 5, 2015
We are pleased to welcome Xia Wang to our group as a postdoctoral scholar. He will be working on our recent DARPA cancer informatics grant and also on evolutionary systems biology.

December 4, 2014
Our recent work on the statistical power of the frequency spectrum in various demographic scenarios has been published in BMC Evolutionary Biology. This was a fun collaboration with Mike Hickerson and John Robinson.

October 14, 2014
Our recent work testing whether metazoan tyrosine loss was driven by selection against spurious phosphorylation has been published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. In the paper, we test an intriguing hypothesis from Rune Linding's group that the expansion of tyrosine kinases in metazoans led to proteome-wide selection against tyrosine use in proteins. We find tyrosine loss was not more dramatic in residues that are more likely to be phosphorylated or in proteins that are more likely to be phosphorylated. We also find no evidence for direction selection against tyrosine in human populations. All three results are contrary to the Linding selection hypothesis. This suggests that some other neutral or selective force is driving the evolution of tyrosine content in metazoans.

This paper was the work of multiple undergraduate and graduate students in my group, and I'm very proud of how all the analyses came together. It's great to work with wonderful students!

June 23, 2014
Ryan is proud to have given an invited talk at the 2014 Kavli Indonesian-American Frontiers of Science Symposium in Medan, Indonesia. The meeting was a great opportunity to meet new colleagues in Indonesia and to learn about a very diverse range of science.

June 3, 2014
We're looking forward to SMBE 2014. Benson, Brian, and Ryan will be giving talks, and Aaron will present a poster.

May 9, 2014
Our proposal for the DARPA "Big Mechanism" Program has been chosen for funding! We are collaborating with researchers in SISTA, who will build a system for computationally inferring casual models of cancer pathways from the cancer literature. Our role, together with Guang Yao's group, is to guide the development from a biological perspective and to apply the system to generate and test hypotheses about cancer biology.

Older news - Public wiki - Internal wiki