Lab News: Summer 2014

We’ve been having lots of fun lately in the lab.  Some recent highlights are (in a rough reverse chronological order):

  • We hosted the first Midwest Popgen Group meeting with the help of the great staff and students/postdocs here at U of C and organizing committee with Sebastian Zollner (U Michigan), Don Conrad (Wash-U), and Bret Payseur (U Wisc-Madison). We had approximately 80 attendees, from 20 different off-campus labs and 17 on-campus labs. Attendees drove in from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. There were 11 talks total, with 7 by grad-students/postdocs and 4 by assistant professors, and 15 posters.  We had a great set of talks and then a fun BBQ at the Point.  Mo Siddiq is preparing a website with photos from the event.  (7/19)
  • We have released a new teaching/research tool.  The Geography of Genetic Variants browser.  This is the hard work of our “programmer-at-large” Joe Marcus.  It’s also a pilot project for a grant we submitted earlier this summer to work on challenges that arise visualizing population structure in genomic-scale variation data.  (7/15)
  • Huffington Post article quotes me raising doubts about a recent PNAS paper on how genetics influence friend pairings (7/14)
  • Joel Smith and Hussein Al-asadi successfully defended their thesis proposals!
  • Genetics recently published an invited short perspective piece on the new fastSTRUCTURE paper in which I give an overview of work on the model behind STRUCTURE and its subsequent variants.  (7/1)
  • We have enjoyed some great summer conferences including the SMBE meeting in Puerto Rico back in June and a meeting with our SardiNIA project collaborators in Ann Arbor, Michigan earlier in July.
  • Darren Kessner and Eunjung Han submitted their final chapters for publication and successfully defended their PhDs!  Darren is off to a fantastic job at the elite Marlborough School in Los Angeles where he will be teaching math and expanding the computer science curriculum.   Eunjung (a.k.a. Christine) is now joining the excellent team at AncestryDNA developing tools for interfacing genealogical and genetic data. We had a big party in LA to celebrate their achievement and are wishing them the best as they move onwards in their new adventures!

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