I am a research scientist and educator. I view these responsibilities part of a continuum that runs from current students to alumni to the general public. My research is focused on discovering basic principles that determine the amount of diversity that exists within and between the genomes of organisms, and how we can use that diversity to understand organismal diversity, to discover novel genes, to maximize human health, and to advance agriculture. Our research is carried out primarily with Drosophila, though past work has included mammals and plants. My teaching covers the concepts and methodologies of population genetics and comparative genomics, and personal genomics and medicine.
Do you have allergies to milk or wheat? Curious about your family ancestry? Does a relative suffer from a genetic disease, and you wonder if you might also be at risk? How will medicine be impacted by DNA testing? How will your own future, your quality of life, your decisions regarding children be impacted? What are the ethical, legal, and social challenges we all face as this genetic technology becomes rapidly available to anyone with as little as $99 and a saliva sample? This course is not just for those interested in science, it is a topic we all need to have a basic understanding of to ensure we are prepared for what is rapidly becoming part of all of our futures.