Center Director and Professor
Michael Lynch is a Professor in the School of Life Sciences. He received his B.S. in Biology from St. Bonaventure University, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lynch has served as President of the Genetics Society of America, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the American Genetic Association. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Developing a theory for evolutionary cell biology and cellular complexity based on principles of population genetics, biophysics, and biochemistry.
- Using experimental populations of microbes to decipher the molecular-genetic and cellular basis of evolutionary change in response to environmental challenges.
- Estimation of intracellular error rates involving replication and transcription across the Tree of Life and developing theory to explain such variation.
- Using the ciliate Paramecium to understand aspects of eukaryotic cell biology, the consequences of whole-genome duplication, and global patterns of biodiversity.
- Using the microcrustacean Daphnia as a model system in population genomics and the study of local adaptation.
Kerry Geiler-Samerotte’s lab focuses on understanding how cells can adapt and evolve despite being composed of many interacting systems. The challenge is that changing any cellular feature may affect other features and molecular processes. The lab conducts experiments in yeast to quantify these dependencies over a fine scale, for example, by measuring how the phenotypic impact of a mutation changes across subtly differing environments. These types of high-throughput and high-precision measurements provide powerful insights into the context-dependent relationships between phenotypes and genotypes.
- How regulatory relationships modify the impacts of mutation.
- How a limited supply of protein-folding resources causes mutations to have context-dependent effects.
- Investigating mutations resulting in resistance to some drugs and collateral sensitivity to others.
- Quantifying pleiotropy (i.e. how often genetic changes influence multiple traits) using single cell approaches.
- Massively parallel evolution experiments in yeast using lineage tracing and DNA barcodes.
Jeremy Wideman is an assistant professor in the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution and the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Dr. Wideman’s primary interests lie in understanding how eukaryotic cells evolved and diversified over the last 2 billion years. To do this, he focuses on inferring characteristics of the last eukaryote common ancestor (LECA) using comparative genomics and cell biology. Three major approaches are currently undertaken in the Wideman lab. Single-cell genomics approaches are used to gain insight into uncultured eukaryotes. To infer ancestral functions, LECA genes are expressed in the model yeast Saccaromyces cerevisiae and analyzed using cell biological and biochemical techniques. The lab is currently exploring spatial proteomics to reconstruct protein localizations in LECA.
- Functional investigations into the evolution of eukaryotic structures.
- Investigating cellular constraints across eukaryotic diversity.
- Comparative genomics and spatial proteomics of eukaryotic cells.
- Single-cell genomics of heterotrophic protists in marine, freshwater, and soil environments.
- Historical and philosophical investigation into the evolution of cells.