The Wilburn Lab at The Ohio State University studies the evolution and biochemical mechanisms of animal reproduction
In nearly every species across the tree of life, genes associated with reproduction and fertilization evolve substantially faster than the vast majority of the genome. Such rapid evolution is driven in part by the continuous co-evolution of interacting proteins delivered between sexual partners during mating. From mating pheromones in salamanders to intrinsically disordered sperm proteins in abalone, the Wilburn Lab is interested in understanding all of the fascinating ways that evolution has generated the immense molecular diversity observed within animal reproduction. Questions are pursued in a range of animal models (humans, salamanders, abalone) with a wide array of biochemical, molecular, and computational methods.