Gregory A. Wray, Professor  

Gregory A. Wray

I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with ecologically relevant traits. At the other end of the scale, I am developing molecular and analytical methods to detect changes in gene function throughout entire genomes, including statistical frameworks for detecting natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation. At intermediate scales, I am investigating functional variation within a dense gene network in the context of wild populations and natural perturbations. My research leverages the advantages of several different model systems, but primarily focuses on sea urchins and primates (including humans).

Education:
Ph.D., Duke University, 1987
B.S., College of William and Mary, 1981

Office Location: 125 Science Drive, 4104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 684-6696
Email Address: gwray@duke.edu
Web Page: http://www.biology.duke.edu/wraylab
Additional Web Page: http://www.biology.duke.edu/wraylab

Specialties:
Evolution
Developmental Biology
Genomics

Research Categories: Evolution of gene networks and developmental mechanisms

Research Description: I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with ecologically relevant traits. At the other end of the scale, I am developing molecular and analytical methods to detect changes in gene function throughout entire genomes, including statistical frameworks for detecting natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation. At intermediate scales, I am investigating functional variation within a dense gene network in the context of wild populations and natural perturbations. My research leverages the advantages of several different model systems, but primarily focuses on sea urchins and primates (including humans).

Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. DE Runcie, DA Garfield, CC Babbitt, JA Wygoda, S Mukherjee and GA Wray, Genetics of gene expression responses to temperature stress in a sea urchin gene network., Mol Ecol, vol. 21 no. 18 (September, 2012), pp. 4547-4562 [22856327], [doi]  [abs].
  2. Y Shibata, NC Sheffield, O Fedrigo, CC Babbitt, M Wortham, AK Tewari, D London, L Song, BK Lee, VR Iyer, SC Parker, EH Margulies, GA Wray, TS Furey and GE Crawford, Extensive evolutionary changes in regulatory element activity during human origins are associated with altered gene expression and positive selection., PLoS Genet, vol. 8 no. 6 (June, 2012), pp. e1002789 [22761590], [doi]  [abs].
  3. D Garfield, R Haygood, WJ Nielsen and GA Wray, Population genetics of cis-regulatory sequences that operate during embryonic development in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus., Evol Dev, vol. 14 no. 2 (March, 2012), pp. 152-167 [23017024], [doi]  [abs].
  4. CC Babbitt, J Tung, GA Wray and SC Alberts, Changes in gene expression associated with reproductive maturation in wild female baboons, Genome Biology and Evolution, vol. 4 no. 2 (2012), pp. 102-109 [doi]  [abs].
  5. AD Pfefferle, LR Warner, CW Wang, WJ Nielsen, CC Babbitt, O Fedrigo and GA Wray, Expression analysis of the phosphocreatine circuit in extant primates: Implications for human brain evolution, Journal for Human Evolution, vol. 60 (2011), pp. 205-211 .
  6. CC Babbitt, LR Warner, O Fedrigo, CE Wall and GA Wray, Genomic signatures of diet-related shifts in primate evolution, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, vol. 278 (2011), pp. 961-969 .
  7. KD Yokoyama, JL Thorne and GA Wray, Coordinated genome-wide modifications within proximal promoter cis-regulatory elements during vertebrate evolution., Genome Biol Evol, vol. 3 (2011), pp. 66-74 [21118975], [doi]  [abs].
  8. O Fedrigo, AD Pfefferele, CC Babbitt, R Haygood, CE Wall and GA Wray, Molecular evidence that a metabolic trade-off contributed to human brain size evolution, Brain, Behavior, and Evolution, vol. 78 (2011), pp. 315-326 .
  9. P Cruz-Gordillo, O Fedrigo, GA Wray and CC Babbitt, Extensive changes in the expression of the opioid genes between humans and chimpanzees., Brain Behav Evol, vol. 76 no. 2 (2010), pp. 154-162 [21079395], [doi]  [abs].
  10. CC Babbitt, JS Silverman, R Haygood, JM Reininga, MV Rockman and GA Wray, Multiple Functional Variants in cis Modulate PDYN Expression., Mol Biol Evol, vol. 27 no. 2 (2010), pp. 465-479 [19910384], [doi]  [abs].
  11. CC Babbitt, O Fedrigo, AD Pfefferle, AP Boyle, JE Horvath, TS Furey and GA Wray, Both noncoding and protein-coding RNAs contribute to gene expression evolution in the primate brain., Genome Biol Evol, vol. 2 (2010), pp. 67-79 [20333225], [doi]  [abs].
  12. R Haygood, CC Babbitt, O Fedrigo and GA Wray, Contrasts between adaptive coding and noncoding changes during human evolution., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 107 no. 17 (2010), pp. 7853-7857 [20385805], [doi]  [abs].