Prof. Jeffrey Townsend of Yale School of Public Health and Yale University
Play • 56 min

Evolution of cancer, plague, pandemics, COVID, policymaking under uncertainty

Jeffrey Townsend is the Elihu Professor of Biostatistics and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale University. He is an experimentalist and a theoretician; someone who performed the first experiments to show how extensively genome-wide gene expression varies in one individual organism to another within a population; who has developed theory to reveal not just what is known, but what is unknown and unknowable in how organisms have descended from their ancestors; who has pioneered both experimental and theoretical approaches enabling us to understand the evolutionary changes that give an organism its form, function, and ability to survive and propagate. Currently, he spends the majority of his time working on evolutionary theory applied to tumor genome sequencing, revealing how cancer evolves from normal tissue to malignant tissue—how cancer evolves within us.

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