Yana G. Kamberov, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Genetics
Department: Genetics
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
538A Clinical Research Building
415 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6145
B.A. (Molecular Biology and Biological Anthropology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2000.
Ph.D. (Cell and Developmental Biology)
Harvard University, 2008.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research in the Kamberov lab is directed at understanding how evolution has shaped humans, particularly the skin and skin derived organs such as sweat glands, hair follicles and mammary glands. A primary goal of our research is to define the genetic basis for the evolution of ancient human-specific traits such as the loss of fur and the expansion of sweat glands that are defining thermoregulatory adaptations of our species. Complementing these efforts, we are also interested in uncovering the phenotypic significance of genetic variation that is responsible for the diversity of modern humans, such as population level differences in sweat gland density, mammary composition and differential disease risk. Our work utilizes a highly interdisciplinary approach that combines classical and quantitative genetics in mice and humans with developmental biology and evolutionary genomics. Informed by our findings from evolutionary biology, we are undertaking efforts to improve human health and alleviate disease particularly in the areas of comprehensive skin regeneration and reproductive pathology.

Selected Publications

WHYY The Pulse Radio program: Why We Exercise. WHYY Philadelphia Public Radio December 2019 Notes: interview on the evolution of human thermoregulatory traits https://whyy.org/episodes/why-we-exercise/

Bridget Alex: Getting Naked. Discover Magazine 40(7): 62, September/October 2019 Notes: interview and highlight of 2018 Journal of Human Evolution paper.

Bethany Brookshire: Cool Jobs: Soaking in sweat. Science News for Students online magazine published by the Society for Science & the Public August 2019 Notes: Interviewed about my research on sweat gland evolution and highlighting my 2018 Journal of Human Evolution paper; https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/cool-jobs-soaking-sweat.

Katherine J. Wu: Cool down with the slick science of sweat. NOVA/PBS online magazine July 2019 Notes: Interviewed on human thermoregulatory adaptations and their evolution. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/science-of-sweat/

Bridet Alex: Why Humans Lost Their Hair and Became Naked and Sweaty Discover January 2019 Notes: interview on human sweat gland and hair evolution; https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/why-humans-lost-their-hair-and-became-naked-and-sweaty#.XEuHRMuWzIV.

Aldea D, Kokalari B, Luckhart C, Aharoni A, Albert PR, Kamberov YG#: The transcription factor Deaf1 modulates Engrailed-1 expression to regulate skin appendage fate. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Elsevier, 139(11): 2378-2381, 2019.

Yana G.Kamberov#, Samantha M.Guhan, Alessandra DeMarchis, Judy Jiang, Sara Sherwood Wright, Bruce A.Morgan, Pardis C.Sabeti, Clifford J.Tabin, Daniel E.Lieberman#: Comparative evidence for the independent evolution of hair and sweat gland traits in primates. Journal of Human Evolution. Elsevier, 125: 99-105, December 2018 Notes: #corresponding author.

Sam Evans-Brown: Ask Sam: If My Dog Doesn't Sweat, Why Does The Good Boy Sit In Front Of The Fan? New Hampshire Public Radio - Outside/In Podcast for Kids September 2018 Notes: Interview to explain thermoregulatory strategies in different species https://www.nhpr.org/post/ask-sam-if-my-dog-doesnt-sweat-why-does-good-boy-sit-front-fan#stream/0

Elizabeth Kolbert: Skin Deep. National Geographic Magazine 233(4), April 2018 Notes: Interviewed about our work on EDAR and variation in modern humans.

Ira Flatow- host: Panting, Perspiration, And Puddles. Science Friday Radio program on National Public Radio August 2017 Notes: interviewed on thermoregulatory traits of humans, sweating and human furlessness; https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/panting-perspiration-and-puddles/

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Last updated: 05/28/2020
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