About Our Lab

Modern genomic technologies make it relatively easy to generate rich data sets describing genome sequences, RNA expression, chromatin states, and many other aspects of the storage, transmission, and expression of genetic information.  For many problems in genetics today, the limiting step is no longer in data generation, but in integrating and interpreting the available data.  Addressing these challenges requires expertise both in the practical arts of data analysis and in the theoretical underpinnings of statistics, computer science, and evolutionary genetics.

The Siepel Lab focuses on a diverse collection of research questions in this interdisciplinary area.  Over the years, our research has touched on topics including the identification of recombinant strains of HIV, the discovery of new human genes, the characterization of conserved regulatory elements in mammalian genomes, and the estimation of the times in early human history when major population groups first diverged.  A general theme in our work is the development of precise mathematical models for the complex processes by which genomes evolve over time, and the use of these models, together with techniques from computer science and statistics, both to peer into the past, and to address questions of practical importance for human health.  Recently, we have increasingly concentrated on research at the interface of population genomics and phylogenetics, with a particular focus on humans and the great apes. We also have an active research program in computational modeling and analysis of transcriptional regulation in mammals and Drosophila, in close collaboration with Prof. John Lis at Cornell University.