Eran ElhaikSenior Lecturer, Ph.D., B.A.
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Forensic Science
- 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).
9. Resurrecting the Ancient Israelites From the Valley of Dry Bones. Ancient Origins. 2019.
8. New Genome Research reveals the true Ancient Israelites. Veterans today. 2019.
7. Neonatal circumcision could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in babies – new research. The Conversation. 2019.
6. Ashkenazic Jews’ mysterious origins unraveled by scientists thanks to ancient DNA. The Conversation. 2019.
5. Solving the mystery of the Druze - a 2,000-year-old odyssey. AEON. 2016.
4. Solving the 1,000-year-old mystery of Druze origin with a genetic sat nav. The Conversation. 2016.
3. Uncovering ancient Ashkenaz - the birthplace of Yiddish speakers. The Conversation. 2016.
2. How DNA traced the Ashkenazic Jews to northeastern Turkey. AEON. 2016.
1. Uncovering ancient Ashkenaz - the birthplace of Yiddish speakers. Atlas of science. 2016.
Selected news coverage (past 10 years):
- Global Metagenomics mapping (2021): New York Times and The Economist
- Uncovering the origins of the people of Ceará (2020): Diario do Nordeste (Portuguese) and terra (Portuguese),
- Deciphering ancient DNA structure (2018): Science Daily and Yorkshire Post
- Understanding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (2018): IFLScience and Jewish news
- Dating ancient genomes (2018): New Scientist and Science Daily
- Bio-tracing ancient genomes (2017): Iflscience and Science daily
- Uncovering the origin of Ashkenazic Jews (2016): Jewish Heritage and Tablet magazine
- Uncovering the origin of Druze (2015): Ynet news and Phys.org
- Developing GPS: a Geo-tracing application (2014): Science and Live Science
- Dating Y chromosomal Adam (2014): Science Daily and Huffington Post
- On the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE (2013): The Guardian and Forbes
- Launching the Genographic project (2013): GenomeWeb and Huffington Post.
Recent research outputs
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Contribution to journal › Debate/Note/Editorial