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Science and Mathematics

Biology Faculty Candidate: Adaptation and Constraint Through the Lens of Genome-wide Association Studies

January 27, 2020 at 12:00pm1:00pm EST

Life Sciences Complex, 106 (Lundgren Room)

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Dr. Stephen Dorus from the Department of Biology at Syracuse University hosts Lawrence Uricchio, Ph.D., from the Department of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley for a lecture in the Life Sciences Complex. Uricchio is a candidate for a faculty position in the Department of Biology in the area of Bioinformatics.

Abstract: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have the potential to offer new insights into the evolutionary processes that drive trait variation. However, GWAS have uncovered only a small portion of the causal variation for many complex traits, even when applied to very large cohorts. In this talk, I will argue that implicit evolutionary assumptions that underlie both GWAS and adaptation estimation have affected many previous studies, such as those reporting a negligible role for rare variants in complex traits or near-zero adaptation rates in Great Apes. I will then suggest new approaches to overcome these limitations and describe genomic signals that support a large role for ultrarare variants in RNA expression variation and substantial importance of weakly beneficial alleles in human evolution. I will discuss how these findings could be extended to other species to further our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors driving adaptation.

*Refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m.


This event was published on January 23, 2020.

Event Details