Katie Pollard, PhD

Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Institute for Human Genetics
Institute for Computational Health Sciences
+1 415 734-2711
Research Description: 

The Pollard lab develops statistical and computational methods for the analysis of massive biomedical datasets. Our research focuses on emerging technologies for genomics, mass spectrometry, and imaging. We specialize in evolutionary and comparative approaches, including machine-learning integration of diverse types of data and longitudinal models of dynamics in disease and development. Examples of current projects are massively parallel dissection of regulatory networks and decoding cryptic variation in the human microbiome.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Statistical and Computational Methods for the Analysis of Massive Genomic Datasets
Mentorship Development: 

4/26/19    Sharpening your Mentoring Skills (SyMS) with Sharon Milgram (Mission Bay)    
4/30/20    Mental Health in a Pandemic: Q&A for Faculty    
6/10/20    Tools and Tips for Virtual Learning    
6/1/20    Preventing Workplace Harrassment (online course)
6/29/20    DEI 101
7/7/20    Precise Language
8/7/20    History of Racism
8/18/20    Debunking Common Myths and Misconceptions about Sexual Harrassment
9/24/20     Black, Brown, and Bruised


Featured Publications: 

Genomic approaches to studying human-specific developmental traits.

Development (Cambridge, England)

Franchini LF, Pollard KS

Human disease modeling reveals integrated transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency.


Theodoris CV, Li M, White MP, Liu L, He D, Pollard KS, Bruneau BG, Srivastava D

Integrating diverse datasets improves developmental enhancer prediction.

PLoS computational biology

Erwin GD, Oksenberg N, Truty RM, Kostka D, Murphy KK, Ahituv N, Pollard KS, Capra JA

A taxonomic signature of obesity in the microbiome? Getting to the guts of the matter.

PloS one

Finucane MM, Sharpton TJ, Laurent TJ, Pollard KS

Many human accelerated regions are developmental enhancers.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Capra JA, Erwin GD, McKinsey G, Rubenstein JL, Pollard KS

A compact, in vivo screen of all 6-mers reveals drivers of tissue-specific expression and guides synthetic regulatory element design.

Genome biology

Smith RP, Riesenfeld SJ, Holloway AK, Li Q, Murphy KK, Feliciano NM, Orecchia L, Oksenberg N, Pollard KS, Ahituv N

Global marine bacterial diversity peaks at high latitudes in winter.

The ISME journal

Ladau J, Sharpton TJ, Finucane MM, Jospin G, Kembel SW, O'Dwyer J, Koeppel AF, Green JL, Pollard KS

Dynamic and coordinated epigenetic regulation of developmental transitions in the cardiac lineage.


Wamstad JA, Alexander JM, Truty RM, Shrikumar A, Li F, Eilertson KE, Ding H, Wylie JN, Pico AR, Capra JA, Erwin G, Kattman SJ, Keller GM, Srivastava D, Levine SS, Pollard KS, Holloway AK, Boyer LA, Bruneau BG

ProteinHistorian: tools for the comparative analysis of eukaryote protein origin.

PLoS computational biology

Capra JA, Williams AG, Pollard KS

PhylOTU: a high-throughput procedure quantifies microbial community diversity and resolves novel taxa from metagenomic data.

PLoS computational biology

Sharpton TJ, Riesenfeld SJ, Kembel SW, Ladau J, O'Dwyer JP, Green JL, Eisen JA, Pollard KS

Detection of nonneutral substitution rates on mammalian phylogenies.

Genome research

Pollard KS, Hubisz MJ, Rosenbloom KR, Siepel A

What makes us human?

Scientific American

Pollard KS

A genome-wide approach to identifying novel-imprinted genes.

Human genetics

Pollard KS, Serre D, Wang X, Tao H, Grundberg E, Hudson TJ, Clark AG, Frazer K

An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans.


Pollard KS, Salama SR, Lambert N, Lambot MA, Coppens S, Pedersen JS, Katzman S, King B, Onodera C, Siepel A, Kern AD, Dehay C, Igel H, Ares M, Vanderhaeghen P, Haussler D