Open Thread for 2010 Genetics Seminar Series

Please post a comment with ideas regarding a topic for next year’s seminar series or discuss previous posted comments.  I will ask for official vote in about a week.


Posted on January 8, 2009, in Student Seminar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’ll make the first suggestion…how about a seminar series and the genetics of human evolution or primate evolution. it could tie in with with any human related disease/disorders that arose from this evolution

  2. i like that idea erik, there is a lot of work right now on uncovering variation within the human/chimp/maquace/ genome and examining it’s realtionship to human phenotypes. i could definitely recommend some speakers…too bad i won’t be here!

  3. keep a list on file:) congrats on ‘movin’ on up’

  4. shyam ramachandran

    my choice: smallRNAs…. the field continues to explode. very soon, small RNAs will be the single most important regulatory mechanism in biology. there is so much we don’t know and it will be interesting to get speakers from varied fields to speak to us on why and how they are studying smallRNAs.

  5. i’m digging that idea…definitely cutting edge and strongly genetic.

  6. Heather Brockway

    If you are looking for human/primate evolution speakers, there are several that would be good to have…give me a day or so and I can get you names and contact info for a couple people. In fact, SMBE (Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution) is having it’s annual conference here in June. There will be a symposium on primate evolution which Yi Xing is putting together along with Nelson Ting (in Anthropology). They might be good resources for speakers as well. One person to contact (off the top of my head)
    Sarah Tishkoff at UPenn. She has studied human evolution in relation to disease as well as how African populations differ from the rest of the regional populations at known disease loci. Ken Kidd from Yale is another person who has studied human evolution and complex diseases.

  7. Heather,

    Great suggestions, thanks for the post. Let me know more about the symposium that Drs Xing and Ting are putting together. I wouldn’t mind checking it out.

    Keep up the chatter, peanut gallery.

  8. I really like the small RNA suggestion. If I had to throw one of my own out there I would suggest epigenetics. I can’t remember if you did that last year or not, I know there was at least one speaker on that topic. There you have it, straight from the gallery.

    Danielle (official peanut)

  9. I’m glad the peanuts are finding their voices. we did epigenetics a couple of years ago and it was a interesting topic. we may get overridden by the powers that be but if that’s what the peanuts want that’s what they should get. how about the epigenetics of micro RNA expression during human evolution…maybe to narrow.

  10. Heather Brockway

    a few more comments from a new peanut…..
    Since I am interested in primate/human evolution and disease, I would love to see a seminar series on this, but that’s just this nut’s two cents! ;-)

    I think the SMBE info should be coming out soon as registration is going to be starting soon. It’s a great conference and I would encourage anyone who is interested to check out the SMBE website…

    MicroRNA in evolution is a good idea but it is a very new field in human evolution, highly interesting but new so I’m not as familiar with the researchers. However, I would be more than willing to look into it!

    Some other names in human/primate evolution are Bruce Lahn out of U of Chicago and Yoav Gilad also out of Chicago. Lahn is an HHMI investigator who does human evolution focusing on the brain and has identified at least 2 genes that are unique to humans and expressed in the brain. Gilad does inter-primate comparisons using sequence and expression data. Todd Disotell and Ward Wheeler are out of the NYCEP (New YorK Consort. for Evolutionary Primatology) work on primate molecular evolution. Kateryna Makova from PSU works on male mutation bias and the evolution of gene expression using both functional analyses as well as bioinformatics. I know her personally and have seen her speak. She would be a great choice for seminar.
    Now if we could get Svante Paabo from the Max Plank Inst. for Evolutionary Anthro in Germany to come over and talk, then that would be really really cool! not to mention very interesting as he is the one working on Neanderthal sequencing among his other primate/human evo work. So there are a few other names for you to chew on.

  11. I like the evolution seminar idea. It turns out that I am going to need to be learning a lot more about evolution because changes in the gene I study may be under the influence of balancing selection, which is something I knew nothing about until someone on my committee spoke up. I think we sometimes overlook the role of evolution in human medical genetics, and it would be great to bring that front and center. I bet it would really help a lot of people think about their projects in new and exciting ways.

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