News

  • Congratulations to our graduates, Aaron Behr '15 and Maya Ramchandran '15!

    Aaron and Maya have been integral lab members for the past two years and will be receiving their college diplomas on Sunday in Brown’s 247th Commencement Exercises. Maya will receive her Sc.B. in Applied Math-Biology with Honors; her thesis was entitled “Statistical methods to distinguish classic selective sweeps from bottlenecks in genome-wide data”. Aaron will receive his A.B. in Computer Science, and his Sc.B. in Biology with Honors; his thesis was entitled “pong: a network-graphical approach to the inference of population structure”.

    We will be miss Aaron and Maya, but luckily they are staying close by! After graduation, Maya will be studying at the New England Conservatory, continuing to develop her amazing talents as a violinist. Aaron will join Oracle’s Big Data Discovery team in Cambridge this July, by which time we plan to have submitted a paper based on his thesis work. Aaron will work in the lab in June and July, along with Gracie and Katie to release pong.

    Congratulations, Maya and Aaron!


  • Summer undergraduate researchers join the lab!

    Two undergraduates are joining the lab for the summer, and will work on implementing the D3-based visualization of population structure to complete Aaron Behr’s thesis project. We are very excited to welcome Katie Liu (a sophomore at Brown concentrating in Computer Science) and Gracie Fang (a sophomore at Wellesley College concentrating in Computer Science) to the group. Gracie is funded by an REU supplement to our CAREER grant, NSF DBI-1452622.

    Here are (L to R) Aaron, Stephen, Katie, Gracie, and Priya at a welcome dinner for our newest members!


  • Palacios et al. has been posted to biorxiv.

    Julia’s first paper (Palacios, Wakeley, and Ramachandran: “Bayesian Nonparametric Inference of Population Size Changes from Sequential Genealogies”) has been posted to biorxiv and submitted for peer review. We are excited to share these results with other researchers, and this is our first paper developed under our NSF CAREER proposal.

    The link to the paper is here.


  • Sohini Ramachandran receives an NSF CAREER award.

    SR and the lab have received funding from the National Science Foundation for the next 5 years (2/2015-1/2020) to support our project “CAREER: Next-generation inference of evolutionary parameters from genome-wide sequence data”. The project will lead to the development of a suite of novel statistical and computational methods for inferring detailed evolutionary histories from whole-genomes of multiple individuals. In the immediate future, the grant (totaling $1,029,319) will support postdoc Dr. Julia Palacios and our graduate students. This research will be integrated with an education plan that consists of multiple activities intended to introduce young women in high school to computer science and biology research, a core goal of the Ramachandran lab.

    More information about the faculty members at Brown who received early career awards in 2015.


  • Dr. Lauren Alpert's talk is accepted at the SMBE Satellite Meeting

    Postdoc Dr. Lauren Alpert has had her talk accepted at the SMBE Satellite Meeting in Hameau de l’etoile, which is near Montpelier, France. The meeting topic is “Investigating biological adaptation with NGS: data and models” and Lauren will be talking about machine learning approaches she has developed for identifying loci under adaptation from genomic data. Congrats, Lauren!


  • New paper out - A comparison of worldwide phonemic and genetic variation in human populations

    Our paper in collaboration with Merritt Ruhlen, Marcus Feldman, and Noah Rosenberg is out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Find the paper here; press coverage from Brown University (a conversation with SR) is here; and we got press coverage from The Atlantic. Congratulations to all the authors, especially first author Dr. Nicole Creanza!


  • New paper out - Global diversity and risk of human infectious disease outbreaks

    Our paper in collaboration with Kate Smith and CC Chen (with undergraduate coauthors Michael Goldberg and Jane Chen) is out in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. It received press from Yahoo!, Voice of America, New Scientist, International Business Times, Times of India, Journalist’s Resource, and Healio Infectious Disease News. Congratulations to all the authors!


  • Dr. Julia Palacios wins a prestigious appointment

    Dr. Julia Palacios, a postdoc in the lab, has been named a Candidate [Candidato a Investigador Nacional] by the National System of Researchers of Mexico (SNI) from 01/01/2015-12/31/2017. If Julia becomes a PI in Mexico, her lab will gain additional funds due to this nomination. Congratulations, Julia!


  • New graduate student Stephen Rong arrives!

    Stephen Rong has just joined the lab as a graduate student. Stephen graduate from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014, and did undergraduate research in the Queller Lab while majoring in both Mathematics and Anthropology. He will be working towards his doctorate in Computational Biology and EEB. Welcome Stephen!


  • Sohini Ramachandran profiled as part of Brown's 250th Anniversary

    As part of Brown’s 250th Anniversary, many faculty members have been profiled in conversation with Professor Richard Fishman. See Sohini’s conversation with Richard about being a faculty member at Brown here on YouTube.


  • Dr. Lauren Alpert Sugden joins the lab

    Dr. Lauren Alpert Sugden has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Lauren did her doctoral work with Chip Lawrence at Brown’s Division of Applied Mathematics and graduated this past May. During her dissertation work, she collaborated with Rob Reenan’s lab on modeling RNA editing. She is working on developing a probabilistically interpretable method for detecting selection from genome-wide data. Welcome Lauren!


  • Aaron Behr's UTRA research begins

    Aaron Behr ‘15 joins the lab starting this summer to develop a computational method that aligns cluster membership inferred by programs like ADMIXTURE across multiple numbers of clusters. Aaron’s work is funded by an UTRA. Welcome Aaron!


  • SMBE 2014 meeting begins!

    The annual meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution has begun, and the Ramachandran Lab is well-represented: SR is co-chairing a symposium entitled “Out of Africa: Humans, commensals, pathogens, oh my!” with collaborator Brenna Henn; Nicole Creanza is presenting work on evolution of language (SR is the senior author); Shaila Musharoff of the Bustamante Lab at Stanford is presenting a poster entitled “A Novel Likelihood Ratio Test for Sex-Biased Demography and the Effect of Cryptic Sex-Bias on the Estimation of Demographic Parameters” (SR is a senior author).


  • Priya Nakka begins rotation with the Raphael Lab

    As part of her doctoral requirements, Priya is conducting research with Ben Raphael’s Lab this summer, working on applying the method HotNet to common variants. Stay tuned for the results from this collaborative project!


  • Press in The Scientist and Nature

    The lab and PI receive press in The Scientist (“Scientist to Watch”) and Nature (“Turning Point”).


  • Professor Ramachandran Named Pew Scholar

    Professor Ramachandran is named a 2012 Pew Scholar, which provides a $240,000 grant to support the lab’s research.


  • Alyna Khan graduates

    Alyna Khan, undergraduate member of the lab, graduates from Brown. Alyna’s undergraduate thesis in Biology is entitled “Analysis of linguistic variation as a means of understanding human migration”. Congratulations Alyna!


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