Immune evasion and transmissible cancer: A case study in Tasmanian devils


Andrew Storfer, PhD

Washington State University School of Biological Sciences

When: Sep 13, 2019 - 12:00pm - 01:00pm

Where: 335 Ortega Hall

The Storfer laboratory uses genomic tools study the processes that lead to the geographic distribution of genetic variation.  They use approaches in landscape genetics and landscape genomics to elucidate patterns of selection and gene flow across natural populations. Specifically, they study emerging infectious diseases, including ranaviruses in amphibians  and transmissble cancer that infects Tasmanian devils as, major selective forces that drive spatial patterns of evolution and local adaptation. To validate candidate genes discovered through population genomics analyses, they conduct transcriptomics studies and use functional genomics tools, such as CRISPR/Cas9 combined with in vitro experiments. They also study species’ range limits – a central mystery in ecology and evolutionary biology is understanding why most species’ range limits are not demarcated by obvious geographic boundaries.