This is the homepage of the Evolutionary Bioinformatics group in the Department of Statistics, Oxford, headed by Prof. Jotun Hein.
Current research areas
Underlying themes are evolution, population genetics, comparative genomics, integrative genomics and systems biology. Work includes developing theoretical models, algorithmic and statistical treatment of open problems, data analysis, and implementation of methods developed. Within these fields we focus on:
Sequence Analysis and Statistical Alignment
Although this is a classic field, there are still plenty of challenges due to the vast increase in available sequence data. We are especially interested in stochastic models of evolution that includes structural information and insertion-deletions.
Phylogenies, Populations and Recombination
Another classic field with many new questions arising from new types of data.
Models of the Origins of Life
Disease studies are quickly moving from looking at individual kinds of data (variation data, genomes, expression data, proteomics…) to attempting a combined analysis. This poses many new modelling tasks, but also questions about the limitations of the present data sets in terms of functional characterization of individual mutations.
With the great successes of comparative genomics and population genetics, it is clear that a long series of data is appearing on higher levels, like networks, shape, behaviour and more. These must be modelled evolutionarily to be analysed properly. A large coming field is how to transfer knowledge from model organisms to humans.