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Joshua Akey

Joshua Akey PhD

Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America

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Joshua Akey is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Princeton University Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. The long-term research goals of his laboratory are to understand patterns of genetic variation within and between populations and to use this information to address fundamental problems in Biology and Evolution. To this end, Akey is pursuing research projects in two broad and interrelated areas: 1) human population and evolutionary genomics and 2) delineating the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and complex diseases. The goals of these studies are to understand the genetic structure of human populations, infer important demographic events in human history, identify regions of the genome that have been affected by natural selection, map genes that contribute to the susceptibility of complex diseases, and mediate inter-individual variation in quantitative traits. The raw data that we use to answer the questions described above include whole-genome DNA sequence information and massively parallel measures of gene expression, protein, and metabolite levels. These data sets are inherently complex and quantitative, and we develop theoretical, statistical, and computational tools to extrapolate meaningful information from them. Previously, Akey was a Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington where his research focused on understanding the evolutionary forces that shaped patterns of human genomic diversity and the genetic architecture of complex phenotypes. He received a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Texas-Houston.
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