PingHsun Hsieh, PhD
Dr. PingHsun Hsieh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, under the supervision of Drs. Ryan Gutenkunst and Michael Hammer. During his postdoc training in the laboratory of Dr. Evan Eichler at the University of Washington, Seattle, he combined his expertise in population genetics modeling with long-read sequencing technologies to better understand complex genomic variation, such as copy number and structural mutations, and its evolution in human and nonhuman primates. The research of his lab leverages computational biology, evolutionary theory, and long-read sequencing technology to study human genome biology and evolutionary medicine.
Our lab uses population genetics modeling and multi-omics data to study genome biology, evolution, and human health. We study how evolutionary forces govern the fate of mutations and identify variants that likely contribute physiological adaptations to novel ecological niches in populations. We are also interested in the fitness consequences of structural variants (SVs, e.g., deletions, duplications, and variable number of tandem repeats). SVs alter many more bases than single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the genome and, thus, are more likely to result in phenotypes. SVs are important to medical genetics (e.g., neurodevelopmental disorders) and pharmacogenetics (e.g., the copy number dependent drug-metabolic gene CYP2D6). Our lab leverages single-cell/single-molecule long-read and multi-omics data to solve complex SVs that could lead to genetic novelties through evolutionary processes, such as hybridization and selection, to infer the functions of SVs, study the fitness effects of distinct mutation classes (e.g., SNV vs. SV) in humans and nonhuman organisms, and build evolutionary applications for medicine.
Personal website (outdated-ish, needs a bit renovation later): https://hsiehph.github.io/index.html