Annual Report 2010

Josep Comeron

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Josep Comeron, associate professor of biology and faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics, is seeking to reshape how human genome association studies are performed.

Comeron and colleagues at Duke and North Carolina recently received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the evolution of recombination rates using next-generation sequencing techniques. Their study will be the first in any eukaryotic system to assess variation in recombination rates within species at a genomic level, providing a unique glimpse into the evolutionary forces influencing the efficacy of natural selection.

“At a more practical level, our study will have a direct impact on whole genome association studies seeking to link genetic variants with phenotypes or diseases,” said Comeron, who completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Barcelona in Spain, earning a Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics in 1997.