Derek E. Wildman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

3218 Scott Hall
540 East Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201
Voice: 313-577-1253
FAX: 313-577-8986
Wildman Lab

Associate Professor (also with Obstetrics and Gynecology; Member Perinatology Research Branch); Ph.D., New York University, 2000. Molecular Evolution of Birth and Reproduction; Comparative Genomics; Aerobic Metabolism; Molecular Anthropology; Primate Evolution; Phylogeography; Mammalian Systematics.

        Evolutionary genome analysis; evolution of mammalian parturition.            
        Whole genome sequencing; pyrosequencing; functional genomics, computation.  

Research Interests

    The Wildman laboratory uses molecular evolutionary and comparative genomic approaches to understand genetic change during human evolution. Current research in his laboratory has two directions. In the first direction they are elucidating the evolutionary history of birth and labor. This research, which is funded by the Perinatology Research Branch of the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Development, is taking advantage of comparative genomic data to test evolutionary hypotheses in genes implicated in preterm birth in humans. They expect this comparative approach will inform the understanding of major obstetrical syndromes. Their long term goal is to describe accurately the evolution of parturition in mammals.
    In the second direction the Wildman Lab is studying the evolution of mammals in general and primates in particular. Their approach is to infer well-supported phylogenetic trees in primates, and to use these trees as the foundation upon which we test hypotheses about positive Darwinian selection in human evolution. Technologies we use include DNA sequencing, microarrays, and quantitative PCR (QPCR). We are also developing high-throughput computational methods for evolutionary genomic analysis. These techniques have allowed the laboratory to understand patterns of natural selection in genes involved in aerobic energy metabolism, and we have also studied the pattern of gene expression in the brains of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and Old World monkeys.
    Graduate Students in the Wildman Laboratory have been intricately involved with all projects. The current graduate student are Amy Boddy and Natalie Jameson.

Selected Publications

Epigenetic and immune function profiles associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. Uddin M, Aiello AE, Wildman DE, Koenen KC, Pawelec G, de Los Santos R, Goldmann E, Galea S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 May 18;107(20):9470-5.

Inhibitory interneurons of the human prefrontal cortex display conserved evolution of the phenotype and related genes. Sherwood CC, Raghanti MA, Stimpson CD, Spocter MA, Uddin M, Boddy AM, Wildman DE, Bonar CJ, Lewandowski AH, Phillips KA, Erwin JM, Hof PR. Proc Biol Sci. 2010 Apr 7;277(1684):1011-20.

Phylogenomic analyses reveal convergent patterns of adaptive evolution in elephant and human ancestries. Goodman M, Sterner KN, Islam M, Uddin M, Sherwood CC, Hof PR, Hou ZC, Lipovich L, Jia H, Grossman LI, Wildman DE. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 8;106(49):20824-9.

Ancient origin of placental expression in the growth hormone genes of anthropoid primates. Papper Z, Jameson NM, Romero R, Weckle AL, Mittal P, Benirschke K, Santolaya-Forgas J, Uddin M, Haig D, Goodman M, Wildman DE. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Oct 6;106(40):17083-8.

A fully resolved genus level phylogeny of neotropical primates (Platyrrhini). Wildman DE, Jameson NM, Opazo JC, Yi SV. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Dec;53(3):694-702.

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