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VanBUG Seminar Series: Melissa Wilson Sayres, Arizona State University

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Speaker Info:

Melissa Wilson Sayres
Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University



The human X and Y chromosomes evolved from a pair of homologous autosomes, but today have vastly different gene content and structure. Curiously, despite tremendous sex-bias in human disease, the sex chromosomes are rarely included in genome-wide analyses of human health and disease. One of the reasons for this exclusion is that the X and Y chromosomes don't follow autosomal patterns of inheritance. However, even when they are included, technical biases resulting from aligning all sequences to a single reference genome can result in erroneous results. I will present results that failing to account for the ancestral sequence similarity between the human X and Y can affect variant calling and inference of gene expression.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Melissa Wilson Sayres is an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences and the Center for Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University. Her main research interests are in sex-biased genetics, mutational processes, and population dynamics. In particular she is studying how the human X and Y chromosome came to be, and what this means for human health and disease. She has trained more than 40 students in how to do scientific research. In addition to her research, she is an enthusiastic educator, teaching about 400 students each year at Arizona State University, most notably in Evolution.

Introductory Speaker:

Melissa Chen (Dr. Laura Parfrey’s Lab UBC)
"Quantification of Species Turnover along Salinity Gradients"

Please Note:

Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker for an open discussion about science and career paths. This takes place 5:00pm-5:45pm in the ground floor boardroom of the BCCRC. The seminar will be followed by complementary pizza, refreshments and great networking.

This is the last session for the 2016-17 Series. VanBUG will return in September 2017 with a new lineup of topics and speakers. For updates on seminar topics and abstracts, please visit VanBUG's website: 


About VanBUG:

VanBUG (Vancouver Bioinformatics Users Group) is an association of researchers, other professionals and students in the BC Lower Mainland who have an interest in the field of bioinformatics. VanBUG meets on the second Thursday of every month from September through April. Research presentations by bioinformatics leaders, students and industry representatives are followed by networking over pizza and refreshments.