Elinor Karlsson uses evolution as a tool for understanding how the human genome works. By combining signals of natural selection with genome-wide association studies, Dr. Karlsson aim to identify genes, pathways, and the functional variants underlying
polygenic diseases, and translate these discoveries into advances in human health care. She is currently using this approach to find the genetic risk factors for susceptibility to infectious diseases, like cholera and viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as psychiatric disorders (using dogs as a model organism). Elinor received her B.A. in biochemistry/cell biology from Rice University, and earned her Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Boston University for research she did on dog genetics at the Broad Institute. She did her postdoctoral research with Dr. Pardis Sabeti at Harvard University.