Title: 
Genomic Evolution and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Health and Disease
Date/Time: 
Monday, February 14, 2022 - 4:15pm
Location: 
virtual via Zoom
Seminar: 
Quantitative & Computational Biology
Department: 
LSI - Genomics

Abstract: Africa is thought to be the ancestral homeland of all modern human populations within the past 300,000 years.  It is also a region of tremendous cultural, linguistic, climatic, and genetic diversity.   Despite the important role that African populations have played in human history, they remain one of the most underrepresented groups in human genomics studies. A comprehensive knowledge of patterns of variation in African genomes is critical for a deeper understanding of human genomic diversity, the identification of functionally important genetic variation, the genetic basis of adaptation to diverse environments and diets, and the origins of modern humans. We have characterized genomic variation in thousands of ethnically and geographically diverse Africans in order to reconstruct human population history and local adaptation to variable environments and have identified candidate loci that play a role in lipid metabolism and skin color.  

Sarah Tishkoff   About Dr. Tishkoff:

Sarah Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, holding appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences. She is      also the Director of the Penn Center for Global Genomics & Health Equity in the Department of Genetics.

Dr. Tishkoff studies genomic and phenotypic variation in ethnically diverse Africans. Her research combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to examine African population history, the genetic basis of anthropometric, cardiovascular, and immune related traits, and how humans have adapted to diverse environments and diets. 

Dr. Tishkoff is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. She is a recipient of an NIH Pioneer Award, a David and Lucile Packard Career Award, a Burroughs/Wellcome Fund Career Award, the ASHG Curt Stern Award, and a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) endowed chair. She is on the NAS Board of Global Health and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering, and is on the editorial boards at Cell, PLOS Genetics, and G3 (Genes, Genomes, and Genetics).

Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, the American Diabetes Association, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.