Congratulations to Megan Irby, a senior undergraduate in the group, who was just accepted into the Peace Corps. After graduation, Megan will spend two years working as an HIV/AIDS Educator in Zambia. We’re impressed Megan sought out this experience, which will help shape her future medical career.
Last night Ryan gave a public science talk about genetic testing at the Saddlebrooke retirement community. It was a great experience, and the audience had well-informed questions. Watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je5GcyU6CYc.
We are excited to welcome Xin Huang as a postdoc in the group. As a PhD student, Xin carried out beautiful work characterizing differences in selection between human populations. With the Gutenkunst group, he’ll be pushing our recent joint DFE work forward.
Congratulations to Brian Mannakee, who just defended his Ph.D. dissertation “Statistical methods for improving low frequency variant calling in cancer genomics”. Dr. Mannakee is leaving the Gutenkunst group to become a Bioinformatics Scientist at Foundation Medicine.
How different do we expect the fitness effects of a new mutation to be in different populations? And how does the expected difference depend on the function of the mutated gene, the divergence of the two populations, and other factors?
In our preprint just posted on bioRxiv, we address these questions by introducing the concept of a joint distribution of fitness effects (DFE) between populations and inferring the joint DFE between populations of humans, fruitflies, and wild tomatoes. Plus, code for carrying out this sort of analysis is now available in dadi.
We’re particularly excited about this work, because it offers a new genome-wide perspective on the genetics of population divergence. There is still a great deal to learn about the joint DFE, which will require both more applications to data and more methodological development.
If this sounds interesting, we’re hiring postdocs.