Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Irvine

Dr. Long is a population and quantitative geneticist who studies complex traits.  He is also co-creator of the Drosophila (fruit fly model system) Synthetic Population Resource (DSPR), a collection of 1700 recombinant inbred lines being used around the world to map complex trait genes at sub-centimorgan resolution.  Much of the statistical and genomics machinery used to dissect complex traits in Drosophila could be redeployed to identify genes mediating host response to Borrelia, if the major natural reservoir for Borrelia (P. leucopus) had greater genomics infrastructure. The Bay Area Lyme Foundation-supported project will sequence the genome of P. leucopus as an enabling first step towards dissecting the genetic basis of host response to pathogens in a natural reservoir.