Sohini RamachandranAssociate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Associate Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Center for Computational Molecular Biology, Co-Director of Graduate Studies for the Center of Computational Biology
I received my bachelor's degree in Mathematical and Computational Sciences at Stanford University in 2002 — applied math, computer science, and statistics are all used extensively in my research. I received my PhD from Stanford University in Biological Sciences in 2007, working with Professor Marcus Feldman on human population genetics. I was elected to the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2007 and did postdoctoral work with John Wakeley, studying coalescent theory.
Research in the Ramachandran lab addresses problems in population genetics and evolutionary theory, using humans as a study system. Our work uses mathematical modeling, applied statistics, and computer simulations to make inferences from genetic data. We try to answer questions like: can we infer sex-biased population histories from human X-chromosomal variation? does genetic variation account for different cancer treatment outcomes? do cultural traits "mutate" more quickly than genes?
I focus on studying the spatial distribution of human genetic variation, both geographically and within the genome (i.e., comparing X-chromosomal and autosomal genetic variation).
Other current interests are in:
inferring human evolutionary history from extant human genomic data,
identifying genomic targets of adaptation using novel methodologies from machine learning,
identifying pathways underlying common diseases (collaborating with Ben Raphael at Princeton University),
and understanding the role of genetic variation in therapy outcomes for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (collaborating with Jun J. Yang at St Jude Children's Research Hospital and Philip Lupo at Texas Children's Hospital).
National Institutes of Health, R01
National Institutes of Health, junior PI on Brown University's COBRE: Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease
National Science Foundation, CAREER Award
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow)
Pew Charitable Trusts (through Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences)
Statistical Analysis of Biological Data (BIOL 0495). This is a first course in statistics, covering probability distributions, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, correlation and regression, and nonparametric tests. Offered spring semesters.
Human Population Genomics (BIOL 1465). This is an introduction to human genomics and the evolutionary forces that shape observed genetic variation across humans today. Topics will include the relationship among humans and other primates, human population genetics and genomics, and examples of the concomitant evolution of both cultural traits and domesticated organisms. Offered in the fall, even years.
Graduate seminars are offered on various special topics in population genomics; contact me for details.
BIOL 0495 - Statistical Analysis of Biological Data. Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017.
BIOL 1465 - Human Population Genomics. Fall 2014.
BIOL 2430 - Topics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Fall 2015.