Geneticist Bill Cresko studies the genomic basis of evolutionary change using comparative studies of natural populations in the wild and experimental approaches in the laboratory. He uses the threespine stickleback fish as his primary model to understand how molecular genetic variation can modify networks of genes and proteins to produce variation in evolutionarily important traits. Most recently, his lab has developed stickleback as a model for studies of how host genetic variation can influence their associated microbial communities. His lab is also well known for developing genomic tools (e.g. RAD-seq) and super-computing software (e.g. Stacks), both of which are now used by thousands of scientists around the world. Cresko’s group has published nearly 100 papers that have been cited thousands of times. In addition to several prestigious fellowships throughout his education from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), Cresko received the Fund for Faculty Excellence Award from the University in 2013 and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016. 

Cresko holds numerous leadership roles on campus. He is associate vice president of research and leader of the Presidential Initiative in Data Science and a member of the Internal Advisory Board at the University for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact (KCASI). 

Work in his laboratory has been supported by grants from the NIH, NSF, the Murdock Charitable Trust and the W. M. Keck Foundation. Cresko co-founded the Applied Graduate Internship Program in Genomics and Bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary training program at UO, which is now part of KCASI. He has also provided key faculty leadership for over $600 million dollars in philanthropic donations to the University of Oregon over the last decade, primarily in support of research, including the largest single gift to a comprehensive public university from Phil and Penny Knight. 

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Sea dragons’ genes give clues to their distinctive looks

Even with plenty of fish in the sea, sea dragons stand out from the crowd. The funky, fabulous fish are bedecked with ruffly leaf-like adornments. Their spines are kinked. They’re missing their ribs and their teeth. And the responsibility of pregnancy is taken on by the males. By sequencing the genomes of two species of sea dragons, University of Oregon researchers have found genetic clues to the fish’s distinctive features: They’re missing a key group of genes found in other vertebrates. Those genes help direct the development of the face, teeth and appendages, as well as parts of the nervous system.
27-Jun-2022 12:35:02 PM EDT

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