Eran Elhaik

Senior Lecturer, Ph.D., B.A.

Senior lecturer

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Forensic Science
  • Genetics
  • Evolutionary Biology


  • Computational biology, Bioinformatics, Population genetics, Genetics, Epigenetics, Microbiome, Big Data, Machine learning, Molecular evolution, Epidemiology, Forensics, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome


My research in population, medical, and evolutionary genomics spans several different subfields, including Computational Biology or Bioinformatics, Epigenetics, Microbiome, Molecular evolution, Epidemiology, and Forensics. More recently I began using machine learning to answer some of these questions. In my research, I am trying to identify interesting and open questions concerning evolutionary, molecular, or epidemiological processes with respect to various organisms and address them using existing or novel tools.

In my population genetic research, I study the origin of populations and what can that teach us about their history, diseases susceptibility, and more using modern and ancient data. I am developing computational tools to trace and date ancient genomes. Metagenomes are powerful tools to answer such questions, which I explore as part of the MetaSUB Consortium. Because questions of origins are invariably linked with ancestry and identity, my work has immediate applications for medical and genetic research where the homogeneity of cohorts is of importance, as well as to social studies which ask similar questions from different angles. I thereby collaborate with social, life, and biomedical scientists.

In my medical genetic research, I study complex disorders, like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS or cot death) and mental disorders. I also collaborate with groups that study multiple myeloma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spina bifida. Our goal is to decipher the etiology of these disorders by identifying environmental risk factors and genomic loci associated with the conditions.

In my evolutionary work, I strive to understand how genomic material is organized in genomes. What evolutionary processes govern and maintain the organization and content of junk DNA and to what purpose.

I also design and develop various platforms (e.g., the GenoChip and DREAM microarrays) and genetic solutions (e.g., GPS Orising, Ancient DNA Origins) for industry and government.

In the past decade years, I collaborated with researchers from over 100 countries. My past funders include National Geographic, National Science Foundation (NSF), The Royal Society, UK Medical Research Council (MRC), UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Grantham Foundation, The University of Sheffield, and the DNA Diagnostics Centre.

My research is currently supported by the VR (The Swedish Research Council), Erik Philip-Sörensen Foundation, Crafoord Foundation, and SLU GroGrund.

My lab is strictly computational, and I am always looking for students with strong computational skills interested in studying truly interesting questions. 

  • 2021-: Docent in Genetics, Department of Biology, Lund University.
  • 2019-2021: Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden.
  • 2014-2019: Lecturer in Animal and Plant Sciences. University of Sheffield, UK.
  • 2013 (6 mo): Research Associate in Mental Health. Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Maryland.
  • 2011-2013: Postdoctoral Fellow in Mental Health. Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Maryland. Advisor: Prof. Peter Zandi.
  • 2009-2011: Postdoctoral Fellow in Population Genetics. Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Maryland. Advisor: Prof. Aravinda Chakravarti.
  • 2004-2009: Ph.D. in Molecular Evolution. University of Houston, Texas. Title of Doctorate: The Compositional Organization of Mammalian Genomes: Characteristics and Evolution. Dissertation Supervisor: Prof. Dan Graur.


I teach courses that are part of Lund University Master's program in Bioinformatics, including Bioinformatics and Sequence Analysis (BINP11), Programming in Python (BINP16), DNA Sequencing Informatics I (BINP28), DNA Sequencing Informatics II (BINP29), and Research Project (BINP37-39 and BINP50-51). 


Societal impact

Selected news coverage (past 10 years): 

Recent research outputs

Eran Elhaik, Sofia Ahsanuddin, Jake M. Robinson, Emily M. Foster & Christopher E. Mason, 2021 Dec 1, In: Microbiome. 9, 1, 114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Danko, Daniela Bezdan, Evan E Afshin, Sofia Ahsanuddin, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Daniel J Butler, Kern Rei Chng, Daisy Donnellan, Jochen Hecht, Katelyn Jackson, Katerina Kuchin, Mikhail Karasikov, Abigail Lyons, Lauren Mak, Dmitry Meleshko, Harun Mustafa, Beth Mutai, Russell Y Neches, Amanda Ng, Olga Nikolayeva & 32 others, Tatyana Nikolayeva, Eileen Png, Krista A Ryon, Jorge L Sanchez, Heba Shaaban, Maria A Sierra, Dominique Thomas, Ben Young, Omar O Abudayyeh, Josue Alicea, Malay Bhattacharyya, Ran Blekhman, Eduardo Castro-Nallar, Ana M Cañas, Aspassia D Chatziefthimiou, Robert W Crawford, Francesca De Filippis, Youping Deng, Christelle Desnues, Emmanuel Dias-Neto, Marius Dybwad, Eran Elhaik, Danilo Ercolini, Alina Frolova, Dennis Gankin, Jonathan S Gootenberg, Alexandra B Graf, David C Green, Iman Hajirasouliha, Jun Wu, Christopher E Mason & International MetaSUB Consortium International MetaSUB Consortium, 2021 Jun 24, In: Cell. 184, 13, p. 3376-3393.e17

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ebrahim Afshinnekoo, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Ana Burguete-García, Eduardo Castro-Nallar, Youping Deng, Christelle Desnues, Emmanuel Dias-Neto, Eran Elhaik, Gregorio Iraola, Soojin Jang, Paweł P. Łabaj, Christopher E. Mason, Niranjan Nagarajan, Michael Poulsen, Bharath Prithiviraj, Rania Siam, Tieliu Shi, Haruo Suzuki, Johannes Werner, Maria Mercedes Zambrano & 2 others, Malay Bhattacharyya & MetaSUB Consortium MetaSUB Consortium, 2021, In: The Lancet Microbe. 2, 4, p. e135-e136

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorial

View All (57)