On June 3rd, Yingying Xu who recently joined iTHEMS gave a talk at the Biology Seminar. She spoke about her past research on applying ideas from statistical physics to genetics, especially on what is called "epistasis". Statistics plays a crucial role in the study of genetics, and one of the main challenges now is to understand the combined effect of multiple mutations, which is often referred to as epistasis. This clearly requires input from statistical physics, so I was very excited to hear the progress made with people from statistical physics - Yingying and her colleagues being involved. Her talk was also very helpful for everyone to get an idea of how advanced statistics/mathematics is being applied to genetics. It was also great to see the expertise of Yingying, and we will be looking forward to further interaction with her.

Reported by Jeffrey Fawcett