How do genetic differences among individuals shape their phenotypes?
Each individual in a species carries their own, unique genome. These genomes vary at thousands to millions of sites. Many of these variants have no effect. Others can dramatically influence the way an individual looks, how it behaves, or which diseases it is susceptible to. How can we tell which DNA differences have consequences for the organism? How exactly do these genetic variants exert their effects? And how did this genomic diversity evolve?
We tackle these questions by combining experimental functional genomics and computational statistical genetics in our lab in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota. A particular focus is on emerging technologies for high-throughput reading, editing, and synthesizing of genomes, which now allow us to systematically answer questions at the core of genetics. We deploy these tools in yeast and other species to learn fundamental principles of how genetic variation shapes phenotypes across eukaryotic life.Follow @frankwalbert