Barbara Domingues Bitarello

Assistant Professor of Biology
Barbara Domingues Bitarello headshot


Phone 610-526-5095
Website Bitarello Lab
Location Park 209



  • B.S. in biological sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), 2008
  • Ph.D. in genetics and evolutionary biology, University of São Paulo, 2016

Areas of Focus

Population genetics/genomics, immunogenetics, molecular evolution, and genomic medicine.


My curiosity about what makes us human drives my current and future research interests. The long-term implications of such an understanding for public health alone are potentially endless. Most of my research training focused on population genetics and molecular evolution with a primary focus on humans, as well as a couple of projects on non-human species, at the intersection of population, computational, evolutionary, and statistical genomics.

Part of my research focuses on the medical genetics of understudied human populations. Over the next few years, my research aims will remain centered on investigating the genetics of underrepresented human ancestries—e.g., African, Latin American—and to use computational tools to understand the interplay between evolutionary processes and complex disease/phenotypes. Another research direction focuses on the evolution of defense-related genes—e.g., immunity, skin barriers, bitter taste receptors, etc.—in humans and other primates and mammals. All of my research is anchored in genomics, bioinformatics, and evolutionary biology.