On Campus Event: Genes and Environment in Evolution and Disease: Thursday April 6 @ 3:45

Professor David Rand, Brown University – “Genes and Environment in Evolution and Disease: Common features from our different genomes.”

April 6, 2017 | 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM | Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

Dr. David Rand is the Stephen T. Olney Professor of Natural History at Brown University and Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  In his talk, he will discuss the role of genetic interactions between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in determining fitness traits relevant to evolution and disease.  The specific question he will address are the roles of gene-by-gene (epistasis) and gene-by-environment (GxE) interactions underlying complex traits.

The human genome projects have sought to identify the mutations causing human disease, but results reveal that genome wide association studies have failed to uncover much of the genetic basis of complex traits. Moreover, new technologies for curing mitochondrial diseases will generate “three-parent babies”. These questions highlight the importance of epistasis and GxE in a variety of questions from evolution to medicine. Dr. Rand addresses these questions using different strains and species of Drosophila, employing quantitative genetic, genomic and transcriptomic approaches.

Dr. Rand earned his bachelor¹s degree from Harvard College and his PhD from Yale University, followed by postdoctoral studies in population genetics at Harvard University.  He has been on the faculty at Brown University since 1991.