Welcome to the Blekhman Lab

Evolutionary, Population, and Medical Genomics

Located at The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, we are part of the Departments of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Our lab

The Blekhman lab's broad focus is on Population, Evolutionary, and Medical Genomics in humans and other primates. A major focus of our research is on the trillions of bacteria that colonize each of us. The lab generates genomic data, and employs computational, statistical, network-theory, data mining, and population genetic approaches, with the goal of understanding how we interact with our microbial communities, how host-bacteria interactions affect complex traits and disease, and how the symbiosis between us and our microbiome evolved throughout human history.

Visit our research and publications pages to learn more!

 We are looking for highly motivated researchers to join our group! Several positions are available for postdocs, graduate students, undergrads, and research scientists. Read More...


Dr. Ran Blekhman

Ran Blekhman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the UofM in 2013, Ran was a Postdoctoral Associate working with Andrew G. Clark at Cornell University. Ran holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from The University of Chicago, where he worked with Yoav Gilad.

  Our Work in the Media

  Recent Papers

  • Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment.
    M. B. Burns, J. Lynch, T. K. Starr, D. Knights, and R. Blekhman.
    bioRxiv, 2014
  • Host genetics shapes the gut microbiome.
    J. K. Goodrich, J. L. Waters, A. C. Poole, J. L. Sutter, O. Koren, R. Blekhman, M. Beaumont, W. Van Treuren, R. Knight, J. T. Bell, T. Spector, A. G. Clark, and R. E. Ley.
    Cell, 2014 (in press)
  • Comparative metabolomics in primates reveals the effects of diet and gene regulatory variation on metabolic divergence.
    R. Blekhman, G. R. Perry, S. Shahbaz, A. G. Clark, O. Fiehn, and Y. Gilad.
    Scientific Reports, 2014 Jul 28;4:5809

  Lab News

  • Josh Linch wins second-best poster in the BICB symposium. Congrats Josh! 08/2014
  • Andres Gomez joins the lab as a Postdoctoral Associate. Welcome Andres! 06/2014
  • Ran will give a talk at the 2014 ASM meeting on May 20 at 3:00 PM, as part of the symposium on Host Genetic Control of the Microbiome, in room 160A at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center 05/2014
  • Michael will present his research at the Biology of Genomes Meeting at Cold Spring Harbor in the poster session on Wednesday May 7, 2014 05/2014
  • Ran will give a talk at the AAPA Meeting on April 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM, as part of the Beyond The Genome Symposium, at the Hyatt Imperial Ballroom, TELUS Convention Center, Calgary, Canada 04/2014
  • Elise Morton joins the lab as a Postdoctoral Associate. Welcome Elise! 02/2014
  • Josh Lynch joins the lab as a BICB graduate student. Welcome Josh! 01/2014
  • Karen Tang joins the lab as a data analyst. Welcome Karen! 01/2014
  • Ran will give a talk at the ASHG Meeting on October 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM, at the Grand Ballroom East, Level 3 of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 10/2013
  • Ran will give a talk at the NTD Conference in Austin on October 9, 2013 09/2013
  • Ran will give a talk at the GCD Seminar Series on September 19, 2013 09/2013
  • Michael Burns joins the lab as an HHMI Postdoctoral Associate. Welcome Michael! 08/2013
  • Ran will give a talk at the MPGI Fall Symposium at the University of Minnesota on August 29, 2013 08/2013
  • The Blekhman Lab opened its gates on August 1st, 2013 in the Cargill Building on the St. Paul campus! 08/2013
  • Ran will give a talk at the SMBE Meeting in Chicago on July 10, 2013 06/2013
  • Ran will give a talk at the Biology of Genomes meeting at Cold Spring Harbor on May 8, 2013 05/2013