© 2017 By Genelle Harrison. Proudly created with Wix.com

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Research Statement

"For the shield may be as important for victory as the sword or the spear."

Charles Darwin

 

Pathogens have been one of the strongest selection pressures that our ancestors have had to face and remains an immense public health challenge. Our immune system today has been shaped by the pathogens that our ancestors have or have not survived. Understanding how different populations have adapted to, and thus respond to infection can improve both treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. For this reason, my thesis research looks at how pathogens have shaped the innate immune response phenotype and looks for genetic drivers and local adaptation to pathogens.       

Professional Experience
Publications
Fellowships & Internships
Fellowships & Awards
 
 
 
 
 
 
Education

Harrison GF, Sanz-Remon J, Bergey CM,  Dumaine A, Grenier JC, Yotova V, Quintana-Murcie L, Perry GH, Schurr E, and Barreiro LB. (2017). Evidence that the advent of agriculture shaped innate immune response to pathogens. In preparation for submission.

Harrison GF, Scheirer JL, Melanson VR. (2015). Development and validation of an arthropod maceration protocil for zoonotic pathogen detection in mosquitoes and fleas. The Journal of Vector Ecology, 4: 83 – 89.

Harrison GF, Scheirer JL, Melanson VR. (2015). Development and validation of an arthropod maceration protocil for zoonotic pathogen detection in mosquitoes and fleas. The Journal of Vector Ecology, 4: 83 – 89.

Harrison GF, Foley DH, Rueda LM, Melanson VR, Wilkerson RC, Long LS, Richardson JH, Klein TA, Kim HC, and Lee WJ. (2013). Three common molecular assays implemented for the detection of Plasmodium spp. in field collected Anopheles vectors amplify non-Plasmodium organisms. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 89, 1117 – 1121.

Harrison GF, Collins A, and  Kim K. (2013). Low genetic diversity of the putatively introduced, brackish water hydrozoan, Blackfordia virginica (Leptothecata, Blackfordiidae), throughout the United States, with a new record for Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126, 91 

Harrison GF, Collins A, and  Kim K. (2013). Low genetic diversity of the putatively introduced, brackish water hydrozoan, Blackfordia virginica (Leptothecata, Blackfordiidae), throughout the United States, with a new record for Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 126, 91 - 102.

Foley DH, Harrison GF, Murphy JR, Dowler M, Rueda LM, Wilkerson RC, and Ockenhouse CF. (2012). Mosquito bisection as a variable in estimates of PCR-derived malaria sporzoite rates. Malaria Journal, 11, 145. 

Foley D, Klein T, Kim HC, Kim M, Wilkerson R, Harrison GF, Rueda L, and Lee WJ. (2011). Synchronous peaks in trap catches of mosquito species at Daeseongdong, a border village between North and South Korea. Journal of Vector Ecology, 7, 29 - 36.

Foley D, Klein T, Lee I, Kim MS, Harrison GF, Rueda L, Kim HC. (2011). Mosquito species composition and Plasmodium vivax infection rates from Baengnyeong-Do (Island), Republic of Korea. Korean Journal of Parasitology, 49, 313 - 316.

Sharp K, Arthur K, Gu L, Ross C, Harrison GF, Gunasekera S, Meickle T, Mathew S, Luesch H, Thacker R, Sherman D, Paul V. (2009). Phylogenetic and Chemical Diversity of Three Chemotypes of Bloom-Forming Lyngbya species (Cyanobacteria: Oscilatoriallles) from Reefs of Southern Florida. Applied Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 75: 2879-2888.

Conference Presentations

Professional Courses

2017: Analyzing and visualizing large datasets in R

2014 – 2015: R workshops for computational biology, Quebec Center for Biodiversity Research

2014: Environmental Genomics, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories

2012: Vector Encounter at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2011: Workshop on Comparative Genomics: Special Session at the Smithsonian Institution

2011: Next Generation Sequencing Symposium sponsored by the SI and the FDA.

2009: Workshop on Molecular Evolution: Special Session at the Smithsonian Institution

Personal Statement

I began my professional science career spending five years (2008 – 2013) working for different government agencies, starting in the Laboratory of Analytical Biology at the Smithsonian and leading the US Army’s Biosystematics Unit. I became interested in infectious disease and human health while working for the military studying malaria vectors, and have married my background in molecular and evolutionary genetics with research pertaining to human health. I made a conscious decision to return for a PhD to pursue this work as well as to learn how to conduct genomics research and to gain skills in coding and biostats.  I am in the final year of my PhD and currently applying for post-doc positions. In future work, I am interested in examining the relationship between ancestry and immune response linking genetic variants to evident immune phenotypes following pathogenic exposure. I am especially interested in comparing hunter-gatherer populations to post-agrarian societies. Aside from research it is important to me to be involved in and contribute to my professional community. During my PhD at McGill I was elected VP-Academic of the Human Genetics Student Society and am currently organizing a conference on Personalized Medicine which will be held on March 2nd, 2018. I am also a member of the Graduate Training Committee. I have been an avid SCUBA diver and underwater videographer  and have worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service and Mote Marine Lab filing coral spawning events. I also enjoy fishing and horse back riding if I ever get the chance in my busy PhD schedule.

 
Other Academic Presentations
 
McGill Center for Complex Traits

McGill University in February 2017

Montreal Genomics
McGill University in April 2017
Infectious Disease and Immunity in Global Health Research Day

McGill University Health Center April

Work in Progress Lunch 

McGill University Health Center April 2017

Pint of Science 

Hurley's Pub in May 2017

McGill International Tuberculosis Center​
McGill University Health Center June 2017