Marcus Dillon is an evolutionary geneticist and microbiologist. He received his BA in Biology and French from Wake Forest University in 2011 and his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 2016. Between 2016 and 2020, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto St. George. Dr. Dillon’s research has helped uncover the biological mechanisms underlying genome-wide variation in microbial mutation rates and has revealed the central role of type III secreted effector diversity in the outcomes of host pathogen interactions. His research has been published in a wide range of journals, including Genetics, Evolution, Genome Biology, and Science. He spends his spare time staying active with friends and family through activities like hiking, tennis, basketball, and high-stakes lawn games. Although his competitive running days are now well behind him, he still enjoys turning virtually everything into a competition.
Research in the Dillon Lab focusses on tracking how novel infectious diseases emerge, identifying genetic loci that direct disease emergence, and characterizing the evolutionary pathways that enable opportunistic pathogens to infect new hosts. They address these problems using a variety of techniques in the fields of evolutionary genetics and microbiology, including comparative genomics, bioinformatics, and experimental evolution. Specific questions that the Dillon Lab is working on include: What determines the fate of host-pathogen interactions? How do novel infectious diseases emerge? And, how does the population genetic environment impact antibiotic resistance evolution? You can find out more about research in the Dillon Lab on the Dillon Lab website.
The Dillon Lab is a growing research group with multiple fully funded MSc and PhD positions. Undergraduate positions are also available through the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) and Biology Research Course (BIO481). You can find more information about current opportunities on my lab website