Dr. McClellan is a broadly trained biologist with research interests in molecular adaptation and evolutionary bioinformatics. His background includes integration of biochemistry, statistics, computer science, biotechnology, bioinformatics, molecular systematics, genetics, and ecology.
Dr. McClellan has been focused on the molecular adaptation of marine organisms for over a decade. While filling a postdoctoral fellowship in Tokyo, he developed the analytical framework to identify and characterize adaptations to cetacean respiratory proteins. This line of inquiry has been ongoing and continues to fascinate him. As a professor at Brigham Young University, Dr. McClellan worked with several undergraduate and graduate students who were also interested in molecular adaptations in marine organisms. He has been involved in several research projects that identified such adaptations in several species of arthropods, especially shrimp and copepods. Since coming to Bigelow Laboratory, Dr. McClellan has expanded his interests to include marine bacteria, especially various strains of proteobacteria. He is currently a Co-PI on a grant from NASA and EPSCoR to study the respiratory proteins of the newly discovered zetaproteobacteria, iron-oxidizing bacteria that are commonly found near hydrothermal vents in the ocean.
Bioinformatics is an emerging area of biological research that combines molecular biology and mathematical modeling of biological phenomena with computer software design and implementation. Dr. McClellan is developing biological/computational approaches specifically to the study of molecular adaptation, the field of research concerned with molecular mechanisms involved with drug and vaccine resistance in viruses and bacteria, as well as the effect of global and local climate change on humans and other organisms. He is actively developing analytical methodology and computer software, and working in collaboration with empirical researchers around the world to characterize adaptation in a variety of organisms, including worms, copepods, wasps, agricultural crops, lizards, whales, and humans.
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