Craig Lowe, PhD

Assistant Professor
(919) 613-1754



research • biography • lab members • publications • alumni • lab website

Research statement

My ultimate goal is to understand the the genomic changes that underlie vertebrate evolution and human disease.  I use both computational genomics and experimental genetics to create a cycle where computational screens define promising candidates and follow-up wet-lab experiments provide feedback to improve the computational screens.  By combining these approaches, I have: 1) shown that 20% of regulatory elements in the human genome arise from transposon insertions, 2) discovered three macroevolutionary epochs of gene regulatory innovation throghout vertebrate evolution, and 3) created statistical models to identify novel gene regulatory elements, including examples that relate to evolved human traits and increased disease risk.  I will build on this previous work to systematically uncover how structural variation relates to evolution and disease risk through three major research directions:
1) Identifying species-specific structural variants in stickleback fish and humans, as well as understanding their function in development and evolution
2) Discovering novel structural variants segregating in humans and systematically analyzing their relationship to disease

3) Understanding the molecular basis of iconic traits that have arisen on branches of the vertebrate tree of life

Projects coming with me

1) New gene expression patterns in humans and their resulting phenotypic traits

2) Strongly selected deletions during stickleback evolution