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Mark Sistrom

Assistant Professor
B.S.: Macquarie University
M.S.: Victoria University
PhD.: University of Adelaide
(203) 623-9979

Mark Sistrom
Research Interests: 

Professor Sistrom works broadly across a number of bacterial and viral systems to explore evolutionary  hypotheses using high throughput sequencing and bioinformatics methods. In particular,  he is interested in:

  • How microbial populations change over space and time.
  • What selective pressures lead to emergent disease.
  • How the evolutionary properties of microbes can be exploited to manage or eliminate disease.

He is interested in collaborative projects that look at pertinent evolutionary questions in a range of biological systems using big data approaches.

Primary Research Interest: 
Immunity & Infectious Diseases
School of Natural Sciences
Bylaw 55 Unit: 
Life and Environmental Sciences
Recent Success: 
2017 Hellman Fellowship
2017 Mexus Award
2016 JGI CSP Grant
2016 UC Merced Faculty Research Award
2016 JGI Director’s Grant
Community Affiliations: 
Society for the Study of Evolution
Society of Systematic Biologists
Graduate Courses: 
Evolutionary Dynamics
Undergraduate Courses: 
Genetics, Evolutionary Medicine
Graduate Student Research: 
Microbial symbioses and venom production
Antibiotic resistance evolution and transfer
Current Graduate Students: 
Past Research Topics: 
Molecular ecology
Comparative genomics of trypanosomes
Area Of Expertise: 
Comparative genomics
High throughput sequencing
Evolutionary biology
Antibiotic resistance
Field of Study: 
Bioinformatics and Genomics
Year Joined UC Merced: 
Post Doc School: 
Yale University
Sydney, Australia
Current Funding Needs: 
Funding to support research staff and generate sequence data for antimicrobial resistance studies.
Current Research Focus: 

Understanding the evolutionary processes which drive the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and develop new strategies to combat them:

  • Examining how microbes evolve over time and space using a broad range of organismal systems, with a focus on microbiome studies, multi-drug resistant bacteria and RNA viruses. Utilizing high throughput genetic sequencing to provide genomic scale data, which is then analyzed to test developed hypotheses.