April 16th, Caitlin Pepperell: Evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Caitlin Pepperell, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Caitlin Pepperell, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Caitlin Pepperell is an evolutionary biologist who focuses on pathogenic microbes. She is curious about a range of topics, including pathogen emergence, the evolutionary influences shaping extant pathogen populations, the impact of pathogenic microbes on human evolution, and the role of human genetic variation in determining the outcome of infections. Work in the Pepperell lab centers on analysis of genomic and other data from natural populations of microbes and hosts. Pepperell is also a practicing infectious diseases physician, who has worked on the front lines of several epidemics.

Pepperell received her B.A. in English Literature from McGill University in Montreal, and her M.D. from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. She completed specialty training in internal medicine at the University of Toronto, and subspecialty training in infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and Stanford. Her post-doctoral research training was also at Stanford, where she was mentored by Marc Feldman and studied evolution of M. tuberculosis in Canadian First Nations. She left Stanford in 2011 to start her own lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is an assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

Talk: Evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an obligate human pathogen and major threat to global public health. Evolution of this bacterium is shaped by the hostile, dynamic environment within individual hosts, the complex ecology of tuberculosis, and broad scale changes in host biology and connectivity.  I will discuss the state of the M.tb evolution field, with an emphasis on open questions and controversies. These questions are important in their own right; I also argue for a role of evolutionary population genomic approaches to tackling the global TB crisis.

Seminar details

Wednesday April 16th, 2014
1:00 PM Lunch outside the Clark Auditorium, food cannot be taken inside (sign up below)
1:15 PM Seminar
Location: Clark Auditorium

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