Elinor Karlsson, PhD, is associate professor in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the UMass Chan Medical School, and director of Vertebrate Genomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research combines new technology, community science and genomics to investigate diseases and discover the origins of exceptional mammalian traits. Dr. Karlsson’s research includes the Zoonomia project, an international effort to compare the genomes of over 240 mammals (from the African Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax to the Woodland Dormouse), to identify segments of DNA that are important for survival and health. Dr. Karlsson has a special interest in dog genetics, and her international Darwin’s Ark project invites all dog owners to enroll their dogs in an open data research project exploring the genetic basis of behavior, as well as diseases such as cancer.
Elinor received her B.A. in biochemistry/cell biology and her B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from Rice University, and earned her Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Boston University. She was a postdoctoral fellow with Pardis Sabeti at Harvard University before starting her research group at UMass Chan in 2014.