The development of cancer is a somatic evolutionary process. Evolving diseases are difficult to treat because they adapt to treatment and because they continually diversify — from so simple a beginning, endless forms evolved. We integrate evolutionary theory with quantitative experimentation to better understand cancers.
I fell in love with scientific research at the age of 16 in the Morse Lab studying gene regulation.
My adventure in science started with studying the structure of the neutron and eventually led me to computational biology.
I am interested in cancer genomics, high-throughput screening, and developing CRISPR-based technologies.
I am interested in the fields of translational genomics and molecular oncology.
My research interests are focused on using programming and mathematics to aid in biological research.
As an Undergraduate, I studied Biology with a focus on human genetics and evolution.
Technological advances in genomics and computation are revolutionizing our understanding of cancer. We believe these advances will make sense only in the light of evolution. Specifically, we believe evolutionary theory can answer many of the most enigmatic aspects of tumor biology, including:
Why do most tumors never progress to malignancy?
Why are mutations that drive growth in one tumor maladaptive in another?
Why do the other ‘passenger’ mutations appear to be unaffected by natural selection?
To answer these questions, our lab pursues an interdisciplinary and inter-laboratory approach that combines experiment and theory with tech development.
We welcome scientists of all academic levels and backgrounds (e.g. clinical, physical, or life scientists). All applicants must demonstrate scientific curiosity, self-direction, and be a team player.
The Cancer Evolution group is committed to fostering a better living and learning environment. We value equity and inclusion, and celebrate diversity in all forms.
Our PhD program is equally-integrative design over 30 degree programs unified in a single application, and rotation program. Students can join any lab accepting students, regardless of department.Please mention Dr. McFarland in your cover letter, so that I can be sure to review your application. You are also encouraged to contact me directly (before or after applying) to discuss fit.