PAG XXVI Plenary Speakers

  • e.buckler 120pxEdward S. Buckler
  • g.coruzzi 120pxGloria Coruzzi
    NYU Center for
    Genomics & Systems
    Biology, NY, USA
  • d.liang 120pxLiang Dong
    Iowa State
    IA, USA
  • m.sayresMelissa A. Wilson
    Arizona State
    University, AZ, USA
  • j.shendure 120pxJay Shendure
    of Washington
    WA, USA
  • d.ware 120pxDoreen Ware
  • b.whitelaw2 120pxBruce Whitelaw
    The Roslin Institute,
    University of Edinburgh,

m.sayres 160Assistant Professor of Genomics, Evolution, and Bioinformatics, Arizona State University, AZ, USA
Sunday, January 14, 6:15 PM / Town & Country Ballroom

Talk Title:  “Sex-biased Genome Evolution”


Melissa Wilson Sayres is an evolutionary and computational biologist at Arizona State University, trained in the biology of sex chromosome evolution and population genetics. After finishing her B.S. in Mathematics at Creighton University, she transitioned to studying biology in the lab of Dr. Kateryna Makova, where she investigated sex chromosome evolution and male mutation bias. She showed that mutation rate differences between males and females can primarily be explained by differences in age at reproduction, suggesting a replicatively-driven mechanism. She also used comparative genomics to provide evidence that X-inactivation evolved gene-by-gene on the human X chromosome in response to Y-linked gene loss. As a Miller Fellow – an independent postdoctoral scholar fellowship – in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, she led a study that showed that observed diversity across the entire human Y chromosome is at least four times lower than expected under neutral models of human demography and conducted novel likelihood-based analyses to show that the low Y diversity is consistent with a model of purifying selection. Since starting her faculty position, Wilson Sayres has continued to study genetic variation within and across species on the sex chromosomes, and is expanding into using evolutionary principles to understand human health and disease. This includes modeling tumor progression, and studying the role of variation on the sex chromosomes in breast, liver, and prostate cancer. Outside of lab, Dr. Wilson Sayres is active in science outreach and mentoring trainees of all levels.


Plenary Lecture Schedule

Sunday, January 14

6:15 PM - Melissa Wilson Sayres  

Monday, January 15

8:00 AM - Edward S. Buckler  

8:45 AM - Liang Dong    

Tuesday, January 16

8:00 AM - Gloria Coruzzi   

8:45 AM - Bruce Whitelaw   

Wednesday, January 17

8:00 AM - Jay Shendure   

8:45 AM - Doreen Ware

All Plenary Lectures will be in the Town & Country Ballroom.  

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PAG Future Dates

2019 - PAG-XXVII - January 12-16
2020 - PAG-XXVIII - January 11-15
2021 - PAG-XXIX - January 9-13

San Diego, CA

Technical Sponsors

USDA, Agricultural Research Service
USDA, National Agricultural Library
USDA, National Institute of Food and Agricuture
Johns Innes Centre