Estella Poloni Group
Department of Genetics and Evolution - Faculty of Science, University of Geneva
Project at a glance
Pharmacogenomics and human evolution
Our group main research interests focus on the origin and evolution of genetic and genomic diversity in human populations, and its links to the history of migrations and cultural differentiations, such as the history of languages or the adoption of new subsistence strategies.
Humans are indeed characterized by an extreme cultural diversity, which testifies to the ability of our ancestors to innovate and colonize all biotopes, and which has probably left imprints in the current genome as attested by the phenotypic variability of our species.
We investigate such recent evolutionary imprints in ADME genes, that are of particular interest to the clinics because of their involvement in the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion of drugs.
These genes are potential targets of natural or cultural selection because of their function acting at the interface between the organism and its chemical and dietary environment.
Our main approaches involve the comparison, in large population samples, of diversity patterns analyzed at the genomic level and in specific genetic systems.
We also make use of a GWAS approach to investigate population variability in pharmacogenomics traits, and to gain a better understanding of the potential functional role of human polymorphisms in genomic regions involved in drug responses, we also investigate their variability in our closest relatives, the chimpanzees.