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Claus O Wilke

Professor, Department Chair, Integrative Biology
College of Natural Sciences, Department of Integrative Biology

Dwight W. and Blanche Faye Reeder Centennial Fellowship in Systematic and Evolutionary Biology

Department Chair of Integrative Biology. Computational evolutionary biology, Molecular evolution, Virus evolution.


Phone: 512-232-2459

Office Location
MBB 3.232

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Claus Wilke received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Bochum in Germany in 1999. He was a postdoc in the Adami lab at Caltech from 2000 to 2005, where he received postdoctoral training in biological physics, evolutionary biology, and artificial life. Claus Wilke has authored or co-authored of over 100 scientific publications covering topics in computational biology, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, population genetics, and statistics.

The Wilke lab carries out research in computational evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. All our research is theoretical or computational, but we frequently collaborate with experimental groups. Much of our research focuses on molecular evolution, in particular on (i) the evolution of viruses and (ii) biophysical mechanisms of protein evolution. Other areas of interest are systems biology, bacterial physiology, and metabolic modeling.

Selected Publications

  • J. R. Houser, C. Barnhart, D. R. Boutz, S. M. Carroll, A. Dasgupta, J. K. Michener, B. D. Needham, O. Papoulas, V. Sridhara, D. K. Sydykova, C. J. Marx, M. S. Trent, J. E. Barrick, E. M. Marcotte, C. O. Wilke (2015). Controlled measurement and comparative analysis of cellular components in E. coli reveals broad regulatory changes under long-term starvation. PLOS Comput. Biol. 11:e1004400.
  • A. G. Meyer, C. O. Wilke (2015). Geometric constraints dominate the antigenic evolution of influenza H3N2 hemagglutinin. PLOS Pathogens 11:e1004940.
  • A. W. Covert, R. E. Lenski, C. O. Wilke, and C. Ofria (2013). Experiments on the role of deleterious mutations as stepping stones in adaptive evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110:E3171-E3178.
  • J. J. Bull, I. J. Molineux, and C. O. Wilke (2012). Slow fitness recovery in a codon-modified viral genome. Mol. Biol. Evol. 29:2997-3004.
  • W. Gu, T. Zhou, and C. O. Wilke (2010). A universal trend of reduced mRNA stability near the translation-initiation site in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. PLoS Comput. Biol. 6:e1000664.
  • D. A. Drummond and C. O. Wilke (2008). Mistranslation-induced protein misfolding as a dominant constraint on coding-sequence evolution. Cell 134:341-352.
  • I. M. Rouzine, É. Brunet, and C. O. Wilke (2008). The traveling-wave approach to asexual evolution: Muller's ratchet and speed of adaptation. Theor. Popul. Biol. 73:24-46.
  • D. A. Drummond, A. Raval, and C. O. Wilke (2006). A single determinant dominates the rate of yeast protein evolution. Mol. Biol. Evol. 23:327-337.
  • C. O. Wilke, J. L. Wang, C. Ofria, R. E. Lenski, and C. Adami (2001). Evolution of digital organisms at high mutation rate leads to survival of the flattest. Nature 412:331-333.

For a complete publication list, click here.

2013 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow
2011 Recognized as Leading Texas Innovator by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST)
2010 Teaching Excellence Award, College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin
1999 Ph.D. in Physics with Highest Honors ("Ausgezeichnet"), University of Bochum
1996 Ruth and Gerd Massenberg award for Excellence in Physics (University of Bochum)