Steven Reilly is 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.