Neanderthals, Denisovans, and humans: Josh Akey presents HudsonAlpha seminar

Neanderthals, Denisovans, and humans: interesting history, or more than that? Josh Akey, PhD, presented the final installment of the spring series of HudsonAlpha seminars May 30, 2018. His talk, entitled “Excavating archaic hominin DNA from the genomes of modern humans,” discussed the methodologies and significance of identifying DNA from archaic species (Neanderthal and Denisovan) in modern humans. “Neanderthal-inherited sequences are not silent remnants of ancient interbreeding but have measurable impacts on gene expression that contribute to variation in modern human phenotypes,” Akey stated in a recent article in Cell. 

Akey is a professor in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University. His long-term goal is to address two fundamental and interrelated questions. First, what is the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation? Second, what is the mechanistic basis of evolutionary change? His group is pursuing these questions in their three favorite “model” organisms: humans, dogs, and yeast.

Seminars are on hiatus for the summer and resume in September. More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including the upcoming schedule, can be found at