Pardis Sabeti, one of my favorite Iranians and anthropologists out there, has a news focus dedicated to her in the latest issue of Science. You should check it out if you wanna get to know a little bit more about her and her current research focus.
For those that don’t know who she is, she holds a M.D/Ph.D dual degree from Harvard where she graduated with highest honors. Pardis Sabeti did her undergraduate work in MIT. In between, she also was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. She’s spent a significant amount of time studying human evolution and has over 20 publications to her name and is currently a professor at Harvard.
Her most impactful papers have been “Genome-wide detection and characterization of positive selection in human populations,” “Linkage disequilibrium in the human genome,” and “Detecting recent positive selection in the human genome from haplotype structure.” Combined, all three papers have been cited a total of over 1,300 times.
She’s best known for work in developing the LRH and XP-EHH tests which detect genetic variants under positive selection. They help us with estimating the ages of alleles to reconstruct the mode and tempo of evolutionary change. Because of this, she’s been called by CNN as one of the “Geniuses who will change your life,” and I hope that in my lifetime she will be recognized with a Nobel prize. We’ll see about that.
But if you’re into human evolutionary biology and want to understand the rate of human evolution, you should definitely track Sabeti’s work. You may also wanna check out this interview of her.
- Balter, M. (2008). PARDIS SABETI PROFILE: Picking Up Evolution’s Beat. Science, 320(5875), 442-443. DOI: 10.1126/science.320.5875.442