Gregory Allan Wray
Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology
I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with ecologically relevant traits. At the other end of the scale, I am developing molecular and analytical methods to detect changes in gene function throughout entire genomes, including statistical frameworks for detecting natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation. At intermediate scales, I am investigating functional variation within a dense gene network in the context of wild populations and natural perturbations. My research leverages the advantages of several different model systems, but primarily focuses on sea urchins and primates (including humans).
Genetic and Genomics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2020 to 2025
Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 1980 to 2023
Evolution of a developmental gene regulatory network during a life history switch in Heliocidaris awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022
Preparing Genetic Counselors for Genomic Medicine Research awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022
IRES Track 1 IRTG Engaged in Dissecting and Reengineering the Regulatory Genome awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022
Training Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2001 to 2022
NRT: Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM) awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2021
Natural Selection in Admixed Populations awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2020 to 2021
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Training Program awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2005 to 2021
Postdoctoral Training in Genomic Medicine Research awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2017 to 2021
Wang, Lingyu, et al. “Genetic basis for divergence in developmental gene expression in two closely related sea urchins.” Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 4, no. 6, June 2020, pp. 831–40. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41559-020-1165-y. Full Text
Davidson, Phillip L., et al. “Chromosomal-level genome assembly of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus substantially improves functional genomic analyses.” Genome Biology and Evolution, May 2020. Epmc, doi:10.1093/gbe/evaa101. Full Text
Berrio, Alejandro, et al. “Identifying branch-specific positive selection throughout the regulatory genome using an appropriate proxy neutral.” Bmc Genomics, vol. 21, no. 1, May 2020, p. 359. Epmc, doi:10.1186/s12864-020-6752-4. Full Text
Byrne, Maria, et al. “Transcriptomic analysis of sea star development through metamorphosis to the highly derived pentameral body plan with a focus on neural transcription factors.” Dna Research : An International Journal for Rapid Publication of Reports on Genes and Genomes, vol. 27, no. 1, Feb. 2020. Epmc, doi:10.1093/dnares/dsaa007. Full Text
Edsall, Lee E., et al. “Evaluating Chromatin Accessibility Differences Across Multiple Primate Species Using a Joint Modeling Approach.” Genome Biol Evol, vol. 11, no. 10, Oct. 2019, pp. 3035–53. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/gbe/evz218. Full Text
Swain-Lenz, Devjanee, et al. “Comparative Analyses of Chromatin Landscape in White Adipose Tissue Suggest Humans May Have Less Beigeing Potential than Other Primates.” Genome Biol Evol, vol. 11, no. 7, July 2019, pp. 1997–2008. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/gbe/evz134. Full Text
Davidson, Phillip L., et al. “A comparative analysis of egg provisioning using mass spectrometry during rapid life history evolution in sea urchins.” Evol Dev, vol. 21, no. 4, July 2019, pp. 188–204. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/ede.12289. Full Text Open Access Copy
Oulhen, Nathalie, et al. “Identifying gene expression from single cells to single genes.” Methods in Cell Biology, vol. 151, Jan. 2019, pp. 127–58. Epmc, doi:10.1016/bs.mcb.2018.11.018. Full Text
Edgar, Allison, et al. “Embryo microinjection of the lecithotrophic sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma.” Journal of Biological Methods, vol. 6, no. 3, Jan. 2019, p. e119. Epmc, doi:10.14440/jbm.2019.292. Full Text Open Access Copy
Babbitt, C. C., et al. “Evolution of gene expression network underlying a disease state.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 55, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2015, pp. E7–E7.
Bauernfeind, Amy L., et al. “Differences in energy metabolism in the brains of humans and chimpanzees: a study of protein expression.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 156, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2015, pp. 80–80.
Babbitt, Courtney C., and Gregory A. Wray. “Evolution of gene expression network underlying a disease state in humans and non-human primates.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 156, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2015, pp. 74–74.
Bauernfeind, Amy L., et al. “Differential gene and protein expression in the human and chimpanzee brain: A comparison using high-throughput techniques.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 73–73.
Wygoda, J. A., et al. “Shifts in the Expression of Developmental Regulatory Genes Involved in the Evolution of a Novel Life History Difference.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 54, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014, pp. E230–E230.
Wygoda, J. A., et al. “Developmental Transcriptome of Heliociaris erythrogramma - from bilateral larva to radial juvenile.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 54, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014, pp. E372–E372.
Wray, G. A., et al. “Evolution of an embryonic gene regulatory network in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.” Echinoderms in a Changing World, edited by C. Johnson, CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP, 2013, pp. 276–276.
Runcie, D. E., et al. “Phenotypic plasticity and the developmental regulatory network in the purple sea urchin.” Echinoderms in a Changing World, edited by C. Johnson, CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP, 2013, pp. 300–01.
Babbitt, C. C., et al. “Conservation and function of noncoding RNAs in primate evolution.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 52, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012, pp. E8–E8.
Horvath, Julie E., et al. “Enamel thickness in Microcebus murinus and Macaca mulana and the evolutionary genetics of enamel matrix proteins in hominoids.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 168–168.