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The Lab

Genetic foundations of health and disease

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How do genetic differences between individuals influence who they are? As a community, we have the capacity to rapidly read genomes and to view detailed nucleic acid differences or mutations that define personal genetics. However, the impacts of most mutations on health and disease are unknown. We developed the EMPIRIC approach to measure the impacts of all possible point mutations in genes. We are using this approach to investigate the biophysical and biochemical underpinnings of gene function, which provides a guide for understanding and predicting the impacts of mutations on health.

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Research Focus

Measuring selection using protein fitness landscapes

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Evolution includes two main features: genetic diversification, and selection. Both diversification and selection have shaped the genetic record of life, making it challenging to infer the contributions of each feature. To investigate selection on its own, we use the EMPIRIC approach to measure the function of engineered mutations in high throughput. Comparison of protein fitness landscapes under different conditions provides views of the impacts of different selection pressures on sequence.

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Lazare Research Building 922
Campus Map (pdf)

508-856-3588 (office)


Mailing Address:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Attn: Dr. Daniel Bolon/BMP department
364 Plantation St LRB922
Worcester, MA 01605

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We are always interested in applications from qualified candidates at postdoctoral and research associate levels.

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Undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD at UMass Medical School should apply directly to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program.