Symposium Speaker: María Ávila-Arcos, PhD

Dr. María Ávila-Arcos is Assistant Professor at the International Laboratory for Human Genome Research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.  María earned a PhD in paleogenomics from the University of Copenhagen and trained as a post-doctoral fellow in population genomics and global health at Stanford University.  María's previous work included the characterization of ancient genomes with an emphasis on the New World using emerging sequencing technologies and statistical methods.  María is currently PI of the Afro-Mexico Genomics Project, a project that aims to characterize the contribution of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade to admixture observed in present-day Mexico.  As part of this project, she and her research team have developed culturally-sensitive informed consent protocols and approaches to returning genetic ancestry results to participants.  The Ávila-Arcos lab also has projects related to Prehispanic Mexico and Colonialism's impact on genetic diversity over time with possible implications for contemporary disease risk and precision medicine opportunities in populations traditionally underrepresented in genomics. 

Recent Publications

  1. Somel, M, Altınışık, NE, Özer, F, Ávila-Arcos, MC. Collaborate equitably in ancient DNA research and beyond. Nature 2021; 600 (7887): 37. PubMed PMID:34848866 .
  2. Ioannidis, AG, Blanco-Portillo, J, Sandoval, K, Hagelberg, E, Barberena-Jonas, C, Hill, AVS, Rodríguez-Rodríguez, JE, Fox, K, Robson, K, Haoa-Cardinali, S et al.. Paths and timings of the peopling of Polynesia inferred from genomic networks. Nature 2021; 597 (7877): 522-526. PubMed PMID:34552258 .
  3. Guzmán-Solís, AA, Villa-Islas, V, Bravo-López, MJ, Sandoval-Velasco, M, Wesp, JK, Gómez-Valdés, JA, Moreno-Cabrera, ML, Meraz, A, Solís-Pichardo, G, Schaaf, P et al.. Ancient viral genomes reveal introduction of human pathogenic viruses into Mexico during the transatlantic slave trade. Elife 2021; 10 : . PubMed PMID:34350829 PubMed Central PMC8423449.
  4. Bravo-Lopez, M, Villa-Islas, V, Rocha Arriaga, C, Villaseñor-Altamirano, AB, Guzmán-Solís, A, Sandoval-Velasco, M, Wesp, JK, Alcantara, K, López-Corral, A, Gómez-Valdés, J et al.. Paleogenomic insights into the red complex bacteria Tannerella forsythia in Pre-Hispanic and Colonial individuals from Mexico. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2020; 375 (1812): 20190580. PubMed PMID:33012233 PubMed Central PMC7702795.
  5. Ioannidis, AG, Blanco-Portillo, J, Sandoval, K, Hagelberg, E, Miquel-Poblete, JF, Moreno-Mayar, JV, Rodríguez-Rodríguez, JE, Quinto-Cortés, CD, Auckland, K, Parks, T et al.. Native American gene flow into Polynesia predating Easter Island settlement. Nature 2020; 583 (7817): 572-577. PubMed PMID:32641827 .
  6. Dehasque, M, Ávila-Arcos, MC, Díez-Del-Molino, D, Fumagalli, M, Guschanski, K, Lorenzen, ED, Malaspinas, AS, Marques-Bonet, T, Martin, MD, Murray, GGR et al.. Inference of natural selection from ancient DNA. Evol Lett 2020; 4 (2): 94-108. PubMed PMID:32313686 PubMed Central PMC7156104.
  7. Ávila-Arcos, MC, McManus, KF, Sandoval, K, Rodríguez-Rodríguez, JE, Villa-Islas, V, Martin, AR, Luisi, P, Peñaloza-Espinosa, RI, Eng, C, Huntsman, S et al.. Population History and Gene Divergence in Native Mexicans Inferred from 76 Human Exomes. Mol Biol Evol 2020; 37 (4): 994-1006. PubMed PMID:31848607 PubMed Central PMC7086176.
  8. Cruz-Dávalos, DI, Nieves-Colón, MA, Sockell, A, Poznik, GD, Schroeder, H, Stone, AC, Bustamante, CD, Malaspinas, AS, Ávila-Arcos, MC. In-solution Y-chromosome capture-enrichment on ancient DNA libraries. BMC Genomics 2018; 19 (1): 608. PubMed PMID:30107783 PubMed Central PMC6092841.
  9. Fregel, R, Méndez, FL, Bokbot, Y, Martín-Socas, D, Camalich-Massieu, MD, Santana, J, Morales, J, Ávila-Arcos, MC, Underhill, PA, Shapiro, B et al.. Ancient genomes from North Africa evidence prehistoric migrations to the Maghreb from both the Levant and Europe. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 115 (26): 6774-6779. PubMed PMID:29895688 PubMed Central PMC6042094.
  10. de la Fuente, C, Ávila-Arcos, MC, Galimany, J, Carpenter, ML, Homburger, JR, Blanco, A, Contreras, P, Cruz Dávalos, D, Reyes, O, San Roman, M et al.. Genomic insights into the origin and diversification of late maritime hunter-gatherers from the Chilean Patagonia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 115 (17): E4006-E4012. PubMed PMID:29632188 PubMed Central PMC5924884.
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María Ávila-Arcos on Twitter

32 years ago today, 14 women, most of whom were studying engineering, were killed by an anti-feminist gun man at École Polytechnique in Montreal. I was a young graduate student studying physics at the time and I will never forget. #MontrealMassacre #NeverForget #WomenInSTEM🕯️ Retweeted by paleogenomics

@cj_battey @brown_birds whoa! pretty different if you as a Mexican.

‘Colonial entitlement leads to scientists sailing around the world to gather water samples, professors picking up rocks on hikes for pedagogical show and tell, and scientists crunching numbers in datasets that seem landless, so they deem no permissions necessary.’… Retweeted by paleogenomics

New postdoc call to start during 2022. A fully funded postdoc position to study population genomics in a big dataset of primate WGS. Previous experience with theory and popgen required. Funded by @ERC_Research Please RT. Thanks! Contact me by email if interested. Retweeted by paleogenomics

Hej @mx_ikea he recibido 8 correos diciendo que mi pedido viene en camino mediante @99minutos desde la semana pasada y no llega. El correo de hoy vuelve a decir que viene en camino, pero su motociclista creo que se salió de ruta pues anda por el Golfo de Biafra.

test Twitter Media - Hej @mx_ikea he recibido 8 correos diciendo que mi pedido viene en camino mediante @99minutos desde la semana pasada y no llega. El correo de hoy vuelve a decir que viene en camino, pero su motociclista creo que se salió de ruta pues anda por el Golfo de Biafra.

This response (which is a fraction of the original write up) wanted to criticize practices in which well-funded labs do not allow local 'collaborators' to gain in-hands aDNA lab experience, nor share control over data and analyses, publication timelines, etc.

In addition to this magnificent response to the "aDNA guidelines" by @kstsosie et al, Mehmet Somel et al. (including me) highlight yet another hole: the lack of commitment to equitable local collaborations in lower income places……

@YrachetaJM @JenniferRaff @kstsosie @KeoluFox @NanibaaGarrison @DeborahBolnick @rickwasmith They are different, but it is by no means an excuse to do nothing. Also forget the politics! Politics are racist and exclusionary here, we need to be guided by human rights and ethical grounds.

@gdeandajauregui Habría que contestarles: "A ver, ustedes díganme cuál es su diversity statement para ver si me animo"

@ObreroFuturista Avisan el 30 de noviembre que los resultados se publicarán "A partir del 17 de noviembre", pero que se evaluarán proyectos hasta el 31 de diciembre. Esteee

@SelFdz Sigh... I know. When Julia's daycare was 100% outdoors she only got sick once in 3 months. Now that it's 50/50 it's every month. Baby bringing new bugs from daycare means that we'll probably be sick every 2-3 weeks 💔

A new development is that baby started daycare so the cycle this time around lasted only three weeks. See you on the other side!! 👋🏾…

🧬💀 If you want to learn how to identify the "true maker" of Illumina sequenced 💩Coprolites/Paleofaeces by checking the microbiome composition and the endogenous DNA, listen to @notmaxib today at 13:00! Details 👇… Retweeted by paleogenomics

Are you a health professional looking for 🥼 outstanding research training 🌱 an inclusive research environment? Introducing new PhD programmes from a wide range of fields. Take a look ⬇️ Retweeted by paleogenomics

It is emotionally draining and stressful at times. Having a community supporting means a lot.

At some point the plant community will need to acknowledge how we support harassers and their institutions and attack victims and their families I'm tired of my family and I being threatened so I won't speak. I've learned the rules of the game But I hope yall are listening Retweeted by paleogenomics

Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. How are YOU taking action? Retweeted by paleogenomics

My defense is taking a lot of energy, time and resources but not a bit of my happiness, willingness and conviction that speaking up and fighting against all forms of violence is the right thing to do. For my girls and all the girls 2/2 #25Nov ✊💜🔥

Today, in light of the international day for the elimination of violence against women, I'd like to share how I continue to experience violence by the sexual harasser described in this story. He's filed a lawsuit (defamation of course) 1/2 #25Nov…

The Ávila-Arcos Website

Curriculum vitae