[Popgenlunch] Biocultural Anthropology Job Candidate Talk: Tamar Carter

Dan Eisenberg dtae at dtae.net
Thu Feb 9 16:12:12 PST 2017

**Apologies for any cross-posting***

Dear Colleagues,

Anthropology is in the midst of a faculty search which may be of interest
to some of you. Details below. If you would like to arrange to meet with
Dr. Carter (on Monday or Tuesday) please call the anthropology main office
at (206) 543-5240.

If you have any feedback on the candidate, feel free to let me know.


Dan T.A. Eisenberg
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Washington
Campus Box 353100
Seattle, WA 98195
Office: Denny 138
Lab: Kincaid 038

*Genetic diversity of malaria parasites and human hosts: Population health
implications in Haiti and Ethiopia*
*Dr. Tamar Carter*
Denny Hall 313 Tuesday
Feb 14, 1:30pm - 2:20 pm with a reception afterward.

*Abstract:* Malaria is caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium and has
plagued human populations for over 100,000 years. Overtime, malaria served
as a selective force shaping genetic variation, giving rise to disorders
like sickle cell disease and glucose-6-phsophate dehydrogenase (G6PD)
deficiency. In kind, human migration and development of antimalarial drugs
can exert selective pressure on Plasmodium. Thus, characterizing genetic
variation in both human and Plasmodium populations is crucial for
implementing effective malaria control measures. I will discuss the role
of genetics in public health intervention in Haiti and Ethiopia. These two
countries represent unique and understudied areas of human-Plasmodium
variation. For Haiti, I analyzed genes that house mutations that confer
drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. In my sample set, only one weak
pyrimethamine resistance mutation (S108N) was detected. These results are
consistent with the absence of antimalarial resistance reported clinically.
The lack of antimalarial resistance in Haiti is surprising given how
widespread antimalarial resistance is in other regions. I also examined P.
falciparum population structure in Haiti and found an unusually high degree
of neutral variation, pointing to potential role that human population
demographics played in shaping parasite diversity. In patients in Haiti, I
studied G6PD deficiency and sickle cell disease genetic variants. These
results were informative for optimal screening and antimalaria treatment
policy in Haiti. In Ethiopia, where, unlike Haiti and most Africa,
Plasmodium vivax is prevalent, I studied G6PD variants in patients. My
study revealed the absence the higher-level deficiency mutation (G202A) in
malaria patients and identified a new mutation in the G6PD gene. I will
discuss 1) an on-going study in the patient, mosquito, and malaria parasite
populations the Somali region of Ethiopia; and 2) projects that incorporate
genetic diversity of people and pathogens, public health, and cultural data
to understand the role of human migration on the transmission of infectious

*Biography: *Tamar Carter is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of
North Carolina Charlotte in the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics.
She earned her Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Florida as an NSF
Graduate Research Fellow in Connie Mulligan’s lab group in the Department
of Anthropology. Her dissertation focused on malaria in Haiti, specifically
antimalarial resistance variants in malaria parasite populations and
related inherited red blood cell disorders in human host populations.
Concurrently, she earned a Master in Public Health (concentration in
Epidemiology) and completed internships with the UF Public Health Research
Laboratory in Gressier, Haiti and with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention as a James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow. As a
post-doctoral fellow in Daniel Janies’ Lab, she is leading an investigation
into glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency variants and
malaria parasite genetic diversity in Ethiopian populations. Dr. Carter is
also working on collaborative big-data projects that integrate genetic and
non-genetic data (demographic, public health, and cultural) to better
understand human population history and global infectious disease spread.
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