Sohini Ramachandran: Causes and Consequences of Human Genomic Variations

2017 Talks
John Meehan
no group
May 17, 2017, 12:28 p.m.

Sohini Ramachandran
Brown University
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 at noon
Room 368 (CIT - 3rd Floor)

Causes and Consequences of Human Genomic Variations

Research in the Ramachandran lab addresses problems in population
genetics and evolutionary theory, generally using humans as a study
system. Our goal is to infer modern human evolutionary history — how
mutation, natural selection, and population histories have interacted
to produce observed genetic variation in present-day humans — from
genomic data alone. Because of advances in sequencing technology,
population-genetic problems are inherently computational problems: How
can we visualize human population-level genetic variation? Which of
the millions of common DNA variants predict an individual’s risk for a
disease of interest? Can we classify beneficial mutations versus
selectively neutral (so-called “junk”) mutations? I’ll discuss our
recent approaches for answering these questions, in which we draw on
topic models, optimization, information theory, and supervised

Sohini Ramachandran joined the faculty of Brown University in July
2010, after 3 years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of
Fellows. She completed her PhD in 2007 with Marcus Feldman at Stanford
University’s Department of Biological Sciences, and her BS with honors
in 2002 in Mathematical and Computational Science at Stanford
University. Sohini is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a Pew
Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, the recipient of an NSF CAREER
award, and funded by multiple grants from the NIH.

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