New Faculty: Assistant Professor of Biology Bárbara Domingues Bitarello
As we begin the semester, we're highlighting Bryn Mawr's newest faculty members. The College supports faculty excellence in both research and teaching.
Assistant Professor of Biology Bárbara Domingues Bitarello
My background is in biology and evolutionary genetics, and most of my research training focused on population genetics and evolutionary biology 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. 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.
My current research focuses on the medical genetics of understudied human populations. I am exploring why polygenic risk scores, used in personalized genomic medicine, have reduced accuracy in populations with ancestry other than European. 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. A secondary research direction will focus on the evolution of defense-related genes—e.g., immunity, skin barriers, bitter taste receptors, etc.—in humans and other primates and mammals. Both axes of my research are anchored in genomics, bioinformatics, and statistics.
The Department of Biology is an interactive community of undergraduates, faculty, and staff who work together to better understand the nature and significance of living systems.