Some mutations are harmful but others are benign. How can we predict the effects of mutations, both singly and in combination? Using data from experiments that simultaneously measure the effects of thousands of mutations, I develop computational tools to predict the functional impact of mutations and apply these tools to problems in protein design, molecular evolution, and cancer.
The McCandlish lab develops computational and mathematical tools to analyze and exploit data from high-throughput functional assays. The current focus of the lab is on analyzing data from so-called “deep mutational scanning” experiments. These experiments simultaneously determine, for a single protein, the functional effects of thousands of mutations. By aggregating information across the proteins assayed using this technique, we seek to develop data-driven insights into basic protein biology, improved models of molecular evolution, and more accurate methods for predicting the functional effects of mutations in human genome sequences.
Critically, these data also show that the functional effects of mutations often depend on which other mutations are present in the sequence. We are developing new techniques in statistics and machine learning to infer and interpret the complex patterns of genetic interaction observed in these experiments. Our ultimate goal is to be able to model these sequence-function relationships with sufficient accuracy to guide the construction of a new generation of designed enzymes and drugs, and to be able to predict the evolution of drug resistance phenotypes in both populations of cancer cells and rapidly evolving microbial pathogens.
Calculating the path of cancer
October 4, 2021
A new mathematical approach is helping cancer researchers at CSHL determine how mutations lead to different behaviors in cancerous cells.
How to outwit evolution
July 21, 2021
CSHL Assistant Professor David McCandlish uses statistical methods to predict the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Predicting the evolution of genetic mutations
April 14, 2020
CSHL quantitative biologists have designed a computational approach for predicting the evolution of a rapidly mutating virus or cancer.
A science career path: David McCandlish
April 10, 2020
Assistant Professor David McCandlish is a quantitative biologist who walks the line between advanced mathematics and the life sciences at CSHL.
Peter Koo wants to understand how machines learn biology
September 20, 2019
Dr. Peter Koo joins the CSHL faculty as an assistant professor. His focus is on exploring how artificial intelligence integrates with biology and genomics.
Event: Public Lecture: Seeing With Sequencing
August 8, 2019
Come hear from three quantitative biologists as they discuss how they see with sequencing to solve mysteries ranging from the genetics of evolution.
Seeing with sequencing—A public lecture with three CSHL experts
April 19, 2019
Quantitative biologists discuss how physics, modern computing power, and a new perspective on biology can make sense of our complex genomes.
David McCandlish named Sloan Research Fellow
February 19, 2019
Assistant Professor David McCandlish has been named a 2019 Sloan Research Fellow for his promising work in the field of quantitative biology.