Steven Reilly was a postdoctoral fellow in the Sabeti lab. His overarching interests lie in understanding the genetic basis of human evolution and recent adaptation. He is specifically interested in furthering our understanding of non-coding variation, the main cache of human genetic diversity. To this end, he uses a two-pronged approach, creating novel machine-learning methods to predict the subset of human variants under selection that are functional, and experimental methods to characterize variants in a massively parallel fashion. His ongoing research employs CRISPR screening and synthetic DNA technologies coupled with genomic readouts to directly assess the cellular phenotypes of adaptive alleles.
Steven completed degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry, with an emphasis in Molecular Biology at Carnegie Mellon University. There he studied under Javier Lopez, dissecting the mechanisms of recursive splicing and its roles in proper expression of homeobox genes in Drosophila. He received his Ph.D. in 2015 from the Department of Genetics at Yale University under James Noonan. His dissertation work comparing enhancers and promoters in the developing brains of mammals uncovered thousands of putative regulatory regions with increased activity on human-lineage. His undergraduate work was supported as a Beckman School in 2007. He was awarded at NSF graduate research fellowship in 2010 and the Carolyn Slayman Thesis Prize from Yale School of Medicine in 2015. He is currently supported by an F32 fellowship from the NHGRI.
“The Reilly Lab is broadly interested in how variation in human genomes leads to the diverse array of phenotypes observed across evolution, diseases, and traits. We’re a multi-disciplinary team with a variety of backgrounds including genomics, math, biochemistry, machine-learning, and population genetics working to build new high-throughput tools for genome interpretation. To achieve such large-scale science, we’re part of many international consortia, including ENCODE, IGVF, and Zoonomia, in addition to working closely with the Sabeti Lab. Our foundational goal is answer one of the remaining fundamental questions in biology: ‘how do genetic changes lead to functional changes at the molecular, cellular, and phenotypic level?'”