Biological Sciences, Lehigh University Lehigh University home page Department of Biological Sciences home page
Faculty, Biological Sciences, Lehigh University

Gregory Lang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Research Interest:
Microbial Evolution

Iacocca Hall
111 Research Drive, D228
Bethlehem, PA 18015


email Dr. Lang


Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular basis of evolution. Yeast species in the “model genus” Saccharomyces possess a unique set of features that make them an ideal system for studying evolution in the laboratory.  Yeast is a well characterized eukaryote microorganism with a short doubling time.  Saccharomyces yeasts can be propagated either sexually or asexually and either as haploids or diploids.  In addition, populations can be frozen creating a “frozen fossil record” of adaptive evolution.  These tools allow us to watch evolution in real time as well as to analyze the historical events that led to the modern yeast species.

In our laboratory we are using yeast to address fundamental questions in microbial evolution:  (1) How does selection shape the genome?  (2) How does the structure of the genome constrain evolution?  (3) Are evolutionary outcomes reproducible?  (4) What role do chance and determinism play in evolution?

For more information, please visit the Lang Lab website


Frenkel EM, McDonald MJ, Van Dyken JD, Kosheleva K, Lang GI, and Desai MM. 2015. Crowded growth leads to the spontaneous evolution of semistable coexistence in laboratory yeast populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A Aug 3. pii: 201506184.

Lang GI, and Desai MM. 2014. Invited Review Article: The spectrum of adaptive mutations in experimental evolution. Genomics. Dec;104(6 Pt A):412-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2014.09.011. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Lang GI, Rice DP, Hickman MJ, Sodergren E, Weinstock GM, Botstein D, and Desai MM. 2013. Pervasive genetic hitchhiking and clonal interference in forty evolving yeast populations. Nature, Aug 29;500(7464):571-4.

Lang GI, Parsons L, and Gammie A. 2013. Mutation rates, spectra, and genome-wide distribution of spontaneous mutations in mismatch repair deficient yeast. G3, Sep 4;3(9):1453-65.

Lang GI, Botstein D, and Desai MM. 2011. Genetic variation and the fate of beneficial mutations in asexual populations. Genetics. Jul;188(3):647-61.

Lang GI, Murray AW. 2011. Mutation rates across budding yeast Chromosome VI are correlated with replication timing. Genome Biology and Evolution. 3:799-811.

Lang GI, and Botstein D. 2011. A test of the coordinated expression hypothesis for the origin and maintenance of the GAL cluster in yeast. PLoS ONE. Sep 22; 10.1371/journal.pone.0025290.

Lang GI, Murray AW, and Botstein D. 2009. The cost of gene expression underlies a fitness trade-off in yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Apr 7;106(14):5755-60.

Lang GI, Murray AW. 2008. Estimating the per-base-pair mutation rate in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. Jan;178(1):67-82.

Hepfer CE, Arnold-Croop S, Fogell H, Steudel KG, Moon M, Roff A, Zaikoski S, Rickman A, Komsisky K,Harbaugh DL, Lang GI, Keil RL. 2005. DEG1, encoding the tRNA:pseudouridine synthase Pus3p, impacts HOT1-stimulated recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Genet Genomics. Dec;274(5):528-38.

Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researcher

Sean Buskirk, Ph.D.


Sean Buskirk
PhD, Infectious Diseases, University of Georgia
BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University



Graduate Students

Katie Fisher


Katie Fisher
MS Biology, Long Island University, C.W. Post
BS Biology, Long Island University, C.W. Post



Dan Marad


Dan Marad
BS Biology, Ursinus College




Undergraduate Students

Ken Brill
Molecular biology, Class of 2017

Ali O’Donnell
Bioengineering, Class of 2017

Biological Sciences
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-758-3680
Fax: 610-758-4004