Department of Human Genetics
The University of Chicago
920 E. 58th Street | CLSC 301 | Chicago, IL 60637
I am interested in the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie the evolution of large body sizes and long life-spans in mammals, particularly the mechanisms by which long-lived, large-bodied species have evolved to enhance cancer resistance. I'm exploring these questions in two lineages – elephants, as a representative of large-bodied organisms with a closest living relative (the hyrax) that is small-bodied, and bats, in which long-lived species are closely related to short-lived species. We are using available genomes to identify genetic changes that may be associated with enhanced cancer resistance and using cell-culture based methods to functionally test our evolutionary predictions. I also resurrect mammoths.