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Gregory Wray

Professor
Biology
(919) 684-6696
Research Interest: 
Developmental biology
Genetics
Nucleic acid metabolism
Research Summary: 
Evolutionary genetics of gene expression
Research Description: 

We are broadly interested in the evolution of transcriptional regulation. Our research utilizes both empirical and computational approaches and spans the scale from single nucleotides to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum, we are focusing on the functional and fitness consequences of specific genetic variants in regulatory sequences of genes associated with interesting traits. At the other end of the spectrum, we are developing computational and statistical methods to detect natural selection on regulatory elements, as well as high-throughput empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation at the whole-genome scale. At intermediate scales, we are investigating functional variation within a dense gene network, including heritability, correlations across the network, gene-environment interactions, and associations with organismal traits. Our research leverages the advantages of two primary model clades, primates and sea urchins.

Publications: 
Genetics of gene expression responses to temperature stress in a sea urchin gene network.
Runcie DE, Garfield DA, Babbitt CC, Wygoda JA, Mukherjee S, Wray GA.
Mol Ecol. 2012. 21:4547-62.

A potential role for glucose transporters in the evolution of human brain size.
Fedrigo O, Pfefferle AD, Babbitt CC, Haygood R, Wall CE, Wray GA.
Brain Behav Evol. 2011. 78:315-26.

Extensive evolutionary changes in regulatory element activity during human origins are associated with altered gene expression and positive selection.
Shibata Y, Sheffield NC, Fedrigo O, Babbitt CC, Wortham M, Tewari AK, London D, Song L, Lee BK, Iyer VR, Parker SC, Margulies EH, Wray GA, Furey TS, Crawford GE.
PLoS Genet. 2012. 8:e1002789.

Population genetics of cis-regulatory sequences that operate during embryonic development in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.
Garfield D, Haygood R, Nielsen WJ, Wray GA.
Evol Dev. 2012. 14:152-67.

Contrasts between adaptive coding and noncoding changes during human evolution.
Haygood R, Babbitt CC, Fedrigo O, Wray GA.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010. 107:7853-7.