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Katherine Pollard received her Ph.D. and M.A. from UC Berkeley Division of Biostatistics under the supervision of Mark van der Laan. Her research at Berkeley included developing computationally intensive statistical methods for analysis of microarray data with applications in cancer biology. After graduating, she did a postdoc at UC Berkeley with Sandrine Dudoit. She developed Bioconductor open source software packages for clustering and multiple hypothesis testing.
In 2003, she began a comparative genomics NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the labs of David Haussler and Todd Lowe in the Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. She was part of the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium that published the sequence of the Chimp Genome, and she used this sequence to identify the fastest evolving regions in the human genome.
In 2005, she joined the faculty at the UC Davis Genome Center and Department of Statistics. She moved to UCSF in Fall 2008.