UCLA Human Genetics
The Department of Human Genetics is the youngest basic science department in the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. When the Department was launched just prior to the sequencing of the human genome, it was clear that the practice of genetics research would be forever changed by the infusion of massive amounts of new data. Organizing and making sense of this genomic data is one of the greatest scientific challenges ever faced by mankind. The knowledge generated will ultimately transform medicine through patient-specific treatments and prevention strategies.
The Department is dedicated to turning the mountains of raw genetic data into a detailed understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of human disease. The key to such understanding is the realization that genes not only code for specific proteins, but they also control the temporal development and maturation of every living organism through a complex web of interactions.
Housed in the new Gonda Research Center, the Department serves as a focal point for genetics research on the UCLA campus, with state of the art facilities for gene expression, sequencing, genotyping, and bioinformatics. In addition to its research mission, the Department offers many exciting training opportunities for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents. Our faculty and staff welcome inquiries from prospective students. We also hope that a quick look at our web pages will give you a better idea of the Department's research and educational activities.
- Several media outlets have reported on research led by Dr. Dan Geschwind showing that in families with more than one child with autism, the gene variations underlying each child's disorder often differ.
- Dr. Steve Horvath was lead author on a widely quoted study demonstrating that Latinos age more slowly on a molecular level and thus are able to live longer despite facing greater health challenges.
- Dr. Eric Vilain, who serves as a consultant to the International Olympics Committee's medical commission, was quoted on a number of recent articles regarding Olympic atheletes' gender identity.
- Dr. Steve Horvath was senior author on a pair of widely disseminated studies linking menopause and insomnia with accelerated biological aging.
- Dr. Stanley Nelson and Dr. Carrie Miceli were profiled in a May 24 feature by People magazine entitled "Heroes Among Us" about their research regarding the deadly genetic disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy.