Sarah Tishkoff studied anthropology and genetics as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in genetics from Yale University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University. From 2000-2007, she was a faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland. Currently, Dr. Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Departments of Genetics and Biology.
Tishkoff’s lab studies genetic variation at the genome level in populations throughout the world, with an emphasis on Africa. She is interested in understanding how evolutionary forces have shaped and maintained genetic variation. Were genetic mutations now associated with common diseases such as diabetes or hypertension originally adaptive to historical environments? Could they have provided resistance to local infectious diseases or other benefits? Tishkoff also uses genetic data to study human evolution and human migration; both ancient and more recent migrations such as the slave trade.
Tishkoff’s innovative research has been recognized with numerous awards including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for scientists of exceptional creativity.