Difference between revisions of "Yaniv Brandvain"

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(Brief biographical sketch)
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Revision as of 22:50, 3 January 2010

About me

Me, courtesy of Fishbeer

Brief biographical sketch

Born in Jerusalem and raised in metro Detroit, I received my MA from the College of the Atlantic in 2004. While there, I worked with Kevin Flurkey in David Harrison's group at the Jackson Lab, beginning my life as a research scientist. I am now PhD graduate student with Mike Wade and Leonie Moyle in the department of biology at Indiana University. If all goes according to plan, I will graduate in the summer of 2010!! Here is a current version of my Curriculum Vitae which shows what I've been up to.

Research interests

I am broadly interested in evolution and genetics, as well as development and ecology, and I do not believe that these fields are very distinct from one another. I usually gravitate towards problems involving interactions among individuals, genes, levels of selection, or interactions between genes and the environment. Below, I briefly discuss two topics that I think about often - Genomic imprinting & Coevolution.

Genomic imprinting

Sometimes a gene's expression depends on whether it was inherited maternally or paternally. This phenomenon, known as genomic imprinting, has interested me since my undergraduate research. Why should genes be imprinted? The conflict (or kinship) theory argues that conflicts between mom and dad over resource allocation drive the evolution of genomic imprinting. I have worked a bit on this theory and its implications, but I am also interested in a number of other possible explanations. In addition to theoretical interests, I am conducting a few controlled crosses to identify imprinted regions of the tomato genome. I think this would be quite exciting, as we only know of a few imprinted genes from a small sample of plant species.


Most, if not all, of the organisms on earth earth exist as complex multi-taxa communities. Some associations, like that of the mitochondria and the nucleus or Buchnera and aphids are quite intimate, while others are more diffuse. I am interested in how relationships between species evolve.

One specific question that I've been looking into is how the inheritance of a symbiont influence the co-evolutionary trajectory of host-symbiont pairs. Looking broadly across the angiosperms, I found that the degree of co-inheritance of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes can predict the number of mitochondrial genes transferred to the nucleus.

Other interests

I play both racquetball and squash regularly and basketball less often. I like to drink bourbon and beer and eat most things. I enjoy much music, but old-timey music is the only thing that gets me dancing. In addition to various Detroit sports, I enjoy watching Chuck, Dexter, and 24. Most of my readings are technical things about ecology, evolution and genetics, but I do also enjoy reading popular science and the history of science.


  1. Brandvain Y and Wade MJ. The functional transfer of genes from the mitochondria to the nucleus: the effects of selection, mutation, population size and rate of self-fertilization. Genetics. 2009 Aug;182(4):1129-39. DOI:10.1534/genetics.108.100024 | PubMed ID:19448273 | HubMed [Genetics09]
  2. Wade MJ and Brandvain Y. Reversing mother's curse: selection on male mitochondrial fitness effects. Evolution. 2009 Apr;63(4):1084-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00614.x | PubMed ID:19154382 | HubMed [Evolution09]
  3. Flurkey K, Brandvain Y, Klebanov S, Austad SN, Miller RA, Yuan R, and Harrison DE. PohnB6F1: a cross of wild and domestic mice that is a new model of extended female reproductive life span. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007 Nov;62(11):1187-98. PubMed ID:18000137 | HubMed [JGeron07]
  4. Brandvain Y and Wade MJ. The evolution of competition and policing: opposing selection within and among groups. BMC Evol Biol. 2007 Oct 25;7:203. DOI:10.1186/1471-2148-7-203 | PubMed ID:17961250 | HubMed [BMCEvolBio07]
  5. Brandvain Y, Barker MS, and Wade MJ. Gene co-inheritance and gene transfer. Science. 2007 Mar 23;315(5819):1685. DOI:10.1126/science.1134789 | PubMed ID:17379800 | HubMed [Science07]
  6. Brandvain Y and Haig D. Divergent mating systems and parental conflict as a barrier to hybridization in flowering plants. Am Nat. 2005 Sep;166(3):330-8. DOI:10.1086/432036 | PubMed ID:16224688 | HubMed [AmNat05]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed


Friends, mentors and collaborators

Journals and podcasts

Various forms of help


  • Yaniv Brandvain, Indiana University, Department of Biology. 1001 E 3rd St. Bloomington, IN 47405.
  • Email me through OpenWetWare or at ybrandvain via google mail.