Karin S Dorman

Dale D. Grosvenor Chair
Karin Dorman image

Dr. Dorman, Associate Professor, received her B.S. in Mathematics and Biology from Indiana University in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Biomathematics from UCLA in 2001. Dr. Dorman joined the staff of Iowa State University in 2001 with joint appointments in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology. Dr. Dorman’s research interests include modeling biological phenomena using mathematical models, with particular emphasis on evolution, genetics, pathogen/host evolution and interactions, and sequence analysis.

Research Description

I build mathematical and statistical models to address a variety of interesting problems mostly related the biology of infectious diseases. My principle focus has been the development of models to extract information from pathogen sequence information. For example, I have developed statistical models to detect the presence of recombination in pathogen sequences. Using these models to identify the location of recombination crossover events, has permitted the identification of possible hotspots of recombination. Another model uses sequence information to identify the historical location of selection events. A selection event associated with the formation of distinct HIV genotypes may ultimately help explain differences in viral pathogenecity.


  • K. S. Dorman, A. H. Kaplan, J. S. Sinsheimer. 2002. Bootstrap confidence levels for HIV-1 recombinants. Journal of Molecular Evolution 54(2):200-209.
  • M. Patel, K. S. Dorman, Y.-H. Zhang, B.-L. Huang, A. P. Arnold, J. S. Sinsheimer, E. Vilain, E. R. B. McCabe. 2001. Primate DAX1, SRY, and SOX9: evolutionary stratification of sex determination pathway. American Journal of Human Genetics 68:275-280.
  • K. S. Dorman, A. H. Kaplan, K. Lange, J. S. Sinsheimer. 2000. Mutation takes no vacation: can structured treatment interruptions increase the risk of drug resistant HIV-1?. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 25:398-402.
  • Y. L. Yang, G. C. Wang, K. S. Dorman, A. H. Kaplan. 1996. Long polymerase chain reaction amplification of heterogeneous HIV-1 templates produces recombination at relatively high frequency. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 12(4):303-306.
  • W. J. Lech, G. Wang, L. Yang, Y. Chee, K. Dorman, D. McCrae, L. C. Lazzeroni, J. W. Erickson, J. S. Sinsheimer, A. H. Kaplan. 1996. In Vivo Sequence Diversity of the Protease of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1: Presence of Protease Inhibitor Resistant Variants in Untreated Subjects. Journal of Virology 70:2038-2043.
Area of Expertise: 
Mathematical Models for the study of the biology of infectious diseases
M.S., Mathematics and Biology, Indiana University, 1994
Ph.D., Biomathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, 2001
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