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Dr Garrett Hellenthal awarded BBSRC New Investigator Award

30 May 2014

Garrett Hellenthal

The aim of the BBSRC New Investigator Award is to assist newly employed university lecturers, and researchers at BBSRC-sponsored, and certain other research institutes in their first open-ended appointments to obtain their first research grant.

Dr Garrett Hellenthal (from GEE/UGI) has received £500K in funding, including a three-year post-doctoral researcher. He will be working in collaboration with GEE Professors David Balding and Mark Thomas, Dr Neil Bradman and researchers from Addis Ababa University, Cambridge and Harvard.  The project entitled "Evolutionary processes shaping genetic structure in Ethiopia and the Sudans" is a three-year project that involves genotyping 2,000 individuals (from samples stored at UCL) to learn about the ancestral history of over 90 different ethnic/regional groups from Ethiopia and the Sudans.

The project will develop novel statistical methodology to identify which geographical and sociological (e.g. language, religion) features contribute most to genetic diversity -- or act as barriers to gene flow -- among different human groups. The project will also assess genetic diversity in this part of Africa in relation to the rest of the world, helping to dissect the initial migrations of early humans out of Africa when colonizing the rest of the world.

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