January 2016

Google hosted Katie Pollard for a Gladstone Open Classroom about big data and the microbiome. Watch the talk.

November 2015

The Leakey Foundation hosts Katie Pollard for a high school outreach event and a public lecture at the Houston Museum of Natural History.

October 2015

Katie Pollard contributed to a policy manuscript on a Unified Microbiome Initiative, which was covered in the New York Times and other media.

August 2015

Katie Pollard spoke about cryptic functional variation in the human microbiome at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings. Her talk was highlighted in the media, including on the NPR Blog Shots.

July 2015

Members of the Pollard lab were featured on LabTV, a project that helps the scientistis of tomrrow meet diverse faces in the field to learn about their biomedical research and career paths.

July 2015

A feature story about Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) appeared in Science. Liz Pennisi covered the discovery and analysis of HARs by the Pollard lab, as well as recent follow up work by several other groups to show that HARs function as developmental enhancers.

June 2015

Bioinformatics PhD student Stephen Nayfach received the UCSF Fletcher Jones Fellowship.

February 2015

We participated in a session on obesity and the human microbiome at the AAAS Meeting in San Jose, CA. Our results about statistical inconsistencies received attention from a variety of media (see press release and news story). This research started with Mariel Finucane’s paper about variability across studies and continued this year with Stephen Nayfach’s observations about average genome size counfounding. Stephen’s paper was accepted at Genome Biology on the day before the talk!

October 2014

We contributed to an opinion paper in Cell on the importance of developing standards and policies in the emerging field of microbiome research.

July 2014

We received an NIH grant to study the longitudinal and functional dynamics of the autoimmune microbiome with Shomi Sanjabi and Tom Sharpton.

July 2014

Katie Pollard contributed to a white paper on the American Statistical Association’s Big Data R&D Initiative, which responded to calls from the NSF and White House. Details here.

June 2014

Graduate student Stephen Nayfach received a Genentech Fellowship for his work on genomic variation in the human microbiome

February 2014

Postdoc Josh Ladau received a poster award at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative RA and Postdoctoral Scholar Summit.

December 2013

Postdoc Josh Ladau’s figure of predicted microbial diversity in the American tallgrass prairie before agriculture was selected by Wired Magazine as one of the best scientific visualizations of 2013.

November 2013

Using a combination of bioinformatics and experimental approaches, we showed that many Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) function as developmental enhancers, some with differences in activity between humans and chimps. The paper was published in a special theme issue of Phil Trans Royal Society B on enhancer evolution. Images of HAR enhancers can be viewed through our EnhancerBrowser website. More info here.

November 2013

Postdoc Josh Ladau and Katie Pollard used niche modeling to predict microbial community diversity in the tallgrass prairie of the United States before agriculture dramatically changed this ecosystem. This project was a collaboration with Noah Fierer and others at University of Colorado. The paper was published in Science and appeared in Nature News. More info here.