It's always challenging to find the time to look up from our own work and think about the wider aspects of our fields. Motivated by the positive response to lectures Scott Wylie gave last summer on the application of statistical mechanics to population genetics, my lab is organizing another summer series, this time to explore recent advances, challenges, and opportunities in population genetics. Our notion is that each week someone will lead a discussion on some key paper, as an entrée into questions such as:
- Modern selectionist vs. neutralist null models of molecular evolution
- The role of positive selection and adaptation in molecular evolution
- Point mutations vs. larger scale events (e.g. duplications) as dominant evolutionary forces
- Regulatory vs structural mutations as dominant evolutionary forces
- Levels of selection, i.e. individual vs. group
- What can population genetics contribute to the study of cancer?
- How does GWAS rely on population genetics?
- How do molecular evolution software packages rely on population genetics?
- Second order selection, i.e. the evolution of mutation rate, recombination, etc.
- How does our understanding of human evolution rely on population genetics?
- Aging and population genetics
- Epistasis and population genetics
Note that this list is unordered, overly ambitious and surely incomplete. Thus we welcome suggestions on priorities, and would be especially happy if people outside the group were motivated to lead a discussion in their area of interest and expertise.
Meetings will take place at 5:00 pm each Monday beginning July 8 in 081 BioMed (a.k.a. the Cohen Lecture Hall, which has its own entrance off The Walk between Olive and Meeting Streets), and will continue through the summer. These meetings are open to the general Brown community, so please pass this announcement along to any interested students, colleagues etc.
For further information please contact weinreich at brown dot edu