john barton sqInvited by Deniz Dalkara and Ulysse Ferrari, John Barton, Associate Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)will give a talk on Thursday, March 21st at 11.00 AM (Salle Dubois-Poulsen, 15-20 Hospital, 3rd floor)

This talk will be dealing with "Revealing the functional effects of mutations, from high-throughput experiments to the globe".

Understanding the relationship between genetic variation and function is a classic problem in biology. Examples include identifying mutations that lead to cancer, designing proteins for enhanced function (e.g., better binding to a target), and understanding traits under selection in an evolving population. My lab develops computational methods to learn about the functional effects of mutations from sequence data. In this talk, I’ll give a few examples of our work using data from vastly different scales. First, I’ll discuss the inference of mutation effects in deep mutational scanning (DMS) experiments. We’ve developed a new approach to interpret DMS data much more reliably than some current popular methods. Second, I’ll show how we’ve studied the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 over the course of the pandemic, uncovering specific mutations driving increased transmission of the virus.

John Barton’s lab develops quantitative methods to study the effects of mutations in sequence data, with a particular focus on how pathogens evolve and interact with their human hosts. He is especially interested in projects aimed at designing better therapies and vaccines to fight disease. John originally obtained his PhD in Physics from Rutgers University. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. John’s work is supported through grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (MIRA).