Gregory Allan Wray

Professor of Biology

Office: 
125 Science Drive, 4104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708-0325
Phone: 
(919) 684-6696
I study the evolution of genes and genomes with the broad aim of understanding the origins of biological diversity. My approach focuses on changes in the expression of genes using both empirical and computational approaches and spans scales of biological organization from single nucleotides through gene networks to entire genomes. At the finer end of this spectrum of scale, I am focusing on understanding the functional consequences and fitness components of specific genetic variants within regulatory sequences of several genes associated with ecologically relevant traits. At the other end of the scale, I am developing molecular and analytical methods to detect changes in gene function throughout entire genomes, including statistical frameworks for detecting natural selection on regulatory elements and empirical approaches to identify functional variation in transcriptional regulation. At intermediate scales, I am investigating functional variation within a dense gene network in the context of wild populations and natural perturbations. My research leverages the advantages of several different model systems, but primarily focuses on sea urchins and primates (including humans).

Education

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1987

  • B.S., College of William and Mary 1981

Benito-Kwiecinski, Silvia, Stefano L. Giandomenico, Magdalena Sutcliffe, Erlend S. Riis, Paula Freire-Pritchett, Iva Kelava, Stephanie Wunderlich, et al. “An early cell shape transition drives evolutionary expansion of the human forebrain.Cell, March 19, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.050. Full Text

Markunas, Alexandra M., Perathu K. R. Manivannan, Jordan E. Ezekian, Agnim Agarwal, William Eisner, Katherina Alsina, Hugh D. Allen, et al. “TBX5-encoded T-box transcription factor 5 variant T223M is associated with long QT syndrome and pediatric sudden cardiac death.Am J Med Genet A 185, no. 3 (March 2021): 923–29. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62037. Full Text Open Access Copy

Song, Hao, Ximing Guo, Lina Sun, Qianghui Wang, Fengming Han, Haiyan Wang, Gregory A. Wray, et al. “The hard clam genome reveals massive expansion and diversification of inhibitors of apoptosis in Bivalvia.Bmc Biology 19, no. 1 (January 25, 2021): 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-020-00943-9. Full Text

Byrne, M., D. Koop, D. Strbenac, P. Cisternas, J. Y. H. Yang, P. L. Davidson, and G. Wray. “Transcriptomic analysis of Nodal – and BMP- associated genes during development to the juvenile seastar in Parvulastra exigua (Asterinidae).” Marine Genomics, January 1, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2021.100857. Full Text

Massri, Abdull J., Geoffrey R. Schiebinger, Alejandro Berrio, Lingyu Wang, Gregory A. Wray, and David R. McClay. “Methodologies for Following EMT In Vivo at Single Cell Resolution.Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.) 2179 (January 2021): 303–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-0779-4_23. Full Text

Devens, Hannah R., Phillip L. Davidson, Dione J. Deaker, Kathryn E. Smith, Gregory A. Wray, and Maria Byrne. “Ocean acidification induces distinct transcriptomic responses across life history stages of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma.Molecular Ecology 29, no. 23 (December 2020): 4618–36. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15664. Full Text

Davidson, Phillip L., Haobing Guo, Lingyu Wang, Alejandro Berrio, He Zhang, Yue Chang, Andrew L. Soborowski, David R. McClay, Guangyi Fan, and Gregory A. Wray. “Chromosomal-Level Genome Assembly of the Sea Urchin Lytechinus variegatus Substantially Improves Functional Genomic Analyses.Genome Biology and Evolution 12, no. 7 (July 2020): 1080–86. https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evaa101. Full Text

Wang, Lingyu, Jennifer W. Israel, Allison Edgar, Rudolf A. Raff, Elizabeth C. Raff, Maria Byrne, and Gregory A. Wray. “Genetic basis for divergence in developmental gene expression in two closely related sea urchins.Nature Ecology & Evolution 4, no. 6 (June 2020): 831–40. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1165-y. Full Text

Pages

Babbitt, C. C., L. W. Pfefferle, G. E. Crawford, and G. A. Wray. “Evolution of gene expression network underlying a disease state.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 55:E7–E7. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2015.

Bauernfeind, Amy L., Michelle L. Reyzer, Richard M. Caprioli, John J. Ely, Courtney C. Babbitt, Gregory A. Wray, Patrick R. Hof, and Chet C. Sherwood. “Differences in energy metabolism in the brains of humans and chimpanzees: a study of protein expression.” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156:80–80. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2015.

Babbitt, Courtney C., and Gregory A. Wray. “Evolution of gene expression network underlying a disease state in humans and non-human primates.” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156:74–74. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2015.

Bauernfeind, Amy L., Erik J. Soderblom, Meredith E. Turner, Arthur M. Moseley, John J. Ely, Patrick R. Hof, Chet C. Sherwood, Gregory A. Wray, and Courtney C. Babbitt. “Differential gene and protein expression in the human and chimpanzee brain: A comparison using high-throughput techniques.” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 153:73–73. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014.

Wygoda, J. A., M. Byrne, D. R. Mcclay, and G. A. Wray. “Shifts in the Expression of Developmental Regulatory Genes Involved in the Evolution of a Novel Life History Difference.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54:E230–E230. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014.

Wygoda, J. A., D. Koop, J. Yang, G. A. Wray, and M. Byrne. “Developmental Transcriptome of Heliociaris erythrogramma - from bilateral larva to radial juvenile.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54:E372–E372. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014.

Wray, G. A., D. Garfield, and D. Runcie. “Evolution of an embryonic gene regulatory network in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.” In Echinoderms in a Changing World, edited by C. Johnson, 276–276. CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP, 2013.

Runcie, D. E., D. A. Garfield, C. C. Babbitt, A. Pfefferle, W. J. Nielsen, and G. A. Wray. “Phenotypic plasticity and the developmental regulatory network in the purple sea urchin.” In Echinoderms in a Changing World, edited by C. Johnson, 300–301. CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP, 2013.

Babbitt, C. C., L. W. Pfefferle, O. Fedrigo, and G. A. Wray. “Conservation and function of noncoding RNAs in primate evolution.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E8–E8. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Horvath, Julie E., Christine Wu, Maxx Toler, Olivier Fedrigo, Lisa W. Pfefferle, Anthony Moore, Gowri L. Ramachandran, et al. “Enamel thickness in Microcebus murinus and Macaca mulana and the evolutionary genetics of enamel matrix proteins in hominoids.” In American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 147:168–168. WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012.

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Selected Grants

Genetic and Genomics Training Grant awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2020 to 2025

The Duke FUNCTION Center: Pioneering the comprehensive identification of combinatorial noncoding causes of disease awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2023

Embryonic Cell Recognition: Specificity Determinants awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 1980 to 2023

Evolution of a developmental gene regulatory network during a life history switch in Heliocidaris awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Preparing Genetic Counselors for Genomic Medicine Research awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

IRES Track 1 IRTG Engaged in Dissecting and Reengineering the Regulatory Genome awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Training Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2001 to 2022

NRT: Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM) awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2021

Natural Selection in Admixed Populations awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2020 to 2021

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Training Program awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2005 to 2021

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