The Centre runs a series of monthly seminars by external speakers.
Tuesday 11 March 2014, 4-5 pm, Galton LT, UCL
Prof Anna Di Rienzo, Deparment of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, USA
Title: The genetic architecture of human adaptions to local environments
Throughout their history, humans encountered and adapted to a diversity of environments. Understanding the genetic bases of beneficial traits may provide new insights into the impact of selection on the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation, including human diseases. We have developed approaches for detecting the impact of selective pressures associated with environmental factors and we have applied them to genome-wide genetic variation data sets. Using these approaches, we identified adaptations to different climates, diets, modes of subsistence and altitudes. Many adaptations to new environments result from subtle frequency shifts at many loci, much like the susceptibility to common diseases is due to many risk alleles with small phenotypic effects. In addition, mixing of populations adapted to different environments offered further opportunities for the spread of adaptive phenotypes. For example, through ancestry-based approaches, we found that ancient low altitude migrants to Tibet acquired beneficial alleles by mixing with the locally-adapted resident populations. This model of admixture-facilitated adaptation shares important properties with selection on standing variation, in that it affords a faster adaptive response to environmental change.
Wednesday 12 March 2014, 1-2pm, Lucas Room, LSHTM
Dr Robert Waterland, Baoylor College of Medicine, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, Houston, USA
Title: Early nutritional influences on human developmental epigenetics
Metastable epialleles in mice strikingly illustrate that stochastic interindividual epigenetic variation is an important determinant of phenotype. We recently devised a genome-scale screen for human metastable epialleles, and show that these loci exhibit all the hallmarks of metastable epialleles in mice: stochastic and systemic interindividual variation in DNA methylation. Most importantly, our recent prospective study in rural Gambia showed that seasonal variation in maternal nutritional status affects establishment of DNA methylation at these loci. The systemic nature of the interindividual variation in DNA methylation at metastable epialleles offers outstanding opportunities to advance the field of epigenetic epidemiology.
Tuesday 8 April 2014, 1-2pm, Gavin de Beer LT, UCL
Dr Nic Timpson, Reader in Genetic Epidemiology, Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol
Tuesday 6 May 2014, 1-2pm, John Snow LT, LSHTM
Prof Anthony Edwards, University of Cambridge
Title: ”Fisher and 100 years of statistical estimation in genetics”
25 June 2014, Kennedy LT, Institute of Child Health
BCGES Annual Conference
Tuesday 8 July 2014, 1-2pm, Manson, LSHTM
Dr Sandra Beleza, Lecturer in Genetics, University of Leicester
Listed separately are internal seminars at LSHTM.