Center for Computational Molecular Biology Inaugural Distinguished Lecture

 

"The Human Genome: Implications for Understanding Human Biology and Medicine"

Dr. Samuel Broder, Celera Genomics

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 4:00 P.M.

Eddy Auditorium, Room 291, 171 Meeting Street

We now live in a world in which the 3 billion letter sequence (nucleotide base pairs) of the human genome is available as a resource for scientific discovery and medical practice. Some of the findings from the completion of the human genome were expected, confirming knowledge presaged by many decades of research in both human and comparative genetics. Other findings are unexpected in their scientific and philosophical implications. In either case, the availability of the human genome is likely to have significant implications, not only on science per se, but on how we view the human condition.

One fundamental issue is the extent to which knowledge of genomic DNA sequence defines the evolution of our species and the essence of who we are, including the determination of risk for illness and behavior in various settings. Should we embrace or reject the genome in a deterministic way, believing that the human condition will ultimately be seen entirely as a manifestation of sequence information and computation?

This talk provides reflections on what the new genomic knowledge might mean for the future of medicine and society.

Host: Professor Sorin Istrail and Professor Chip Lawrence