David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Department of Human Genetics

Speaker Series - Fall Quarter 2011

Mondays, 11am - 12pm, Gonda Building First Floor Conference Room, 1357

Mon, Oct 03
Nutrigenomics - Potential and Limitations
Christian A. Drevon, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo
Contact & Intro: Jake Lusis, x51359
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ABSTRACT: The concept nutrigenomics is often used concerning effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression. Several nutrients function as ligands for transcription factors and alter gene transcription. Moreover, nutrigenomics is used to describe the influence of genetic variation by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on absorption, metabolism, elimination or biological effects of nutrients, and it has been a goal of scientists in nutrigenomics to optimize nutrition to the subject's genotype. I will present evidence that the concept Molecular Nutrition is more fruitful to obtain insight in mechansisms for biological effects of nutrints. Molecular Nutrition includes all available technologies available to describe the biological effects and mechanisms of action of nutrient host interaction. Nutrional science is hard because of many and even unknown variables related to: • Consumption of ~ 1.5 kg food and ~ 2 l liquid/day • ~ 10-20 000 food products available in the modern society • ~ 40 essential nutrients • Several thousand other food ingredients, often poorly described • 1013 cells in the human body and 1014 bacteria in the GI tractus • Many organs & multitude of cell types • 25 000 genes • Some 100 000 transcripts • 2.5 millions single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) • Human genome with ~ 3 billions base pairs • Several thousand water- and fat-soluble metabolites

Molecular Nutrition takes advantage of the following methods: • Epidemiology/food intake • Genomics, SNPs, epigenetics • Transcriptomics • Proteomics • Metabolomics • Imaging; fluorescence, MRI, CT • Systemsbiology/ physiology

These methods can be extended by using: • Several tissues • Diets of many types • Challenges; OGTT, OFTT, meal, physical activity • Time courses

It will be presented examples on how different methods can be applied on important topics in molecular nutrition.

Mon, Oct 24
The role of circadian clock in regulation of pancreatic beta-cell function and survival in Type 2 diabetes
Aleksey Matveyenko, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Larry Hillblom Islet research Center, UCLA
Contact & Intro: Jake Lusis, x51359
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ABSTRACT: The circadian system allows the organism to adapt its internal metabolism to changes in the external environment created by daily fluctuations in the light/dark (LD) cycle. The “pacemaker” of the circadian system is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus comprised of self-contained circadian oscillators governed by finely tuned transcriptional-translational feedback loops. Moreover, self-sustained circadian oscillators have been shown to be present in multiple peripheral tissues that are normally entrained by rhythmic cues from the SCN. Misalignment of internal circadian oscillators with the external environment leads to deleterious health consequences, particularly predisposing individuals to development of Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). In turn, T2DM is characterized by pancreatic beta-cell failure due to decline in insulin secretion and loss of beta-cell mass as a consequence of increased beta-cell apoptosis. Thus, in order to gain insight into the mechanisms by which circadian misalignment increases the risk for development of T2DM the talk will outline studies undertaken to 1) characterize circadian genetic oscillators in pancreatic beta-cells and 2) examine physiological and molecular mechanisms by which disruption of beta-cell circadian oscillators leads to predisposition to development of T2DM.

Wed, Oct 26
Please note change in time: 10-11am
The Estonian Biobank for population genetics and beyond
Andres Metspalu , Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Tartu University
Contact & Intro: Jake Lusis, x51359
Fri, Oct 28
Please note change in time: 3-4pm
Mirror phenotypes associated with gene dosage at the chromosome 16p11.2 locus
Jacques Beckmann, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Department of Medical Genetics, University of Lausanne
Contact & Intro: Yehudit Hasin, yhasin@mednet.ucla.edu
Mon, Nov 07
Study of individual and coordinate activities of FGF ligands using Drosophila
Angela Stathopoulos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Contact & Intro: Julian Martinez, x42405
Mon, Nov 21
Genetics and Evolution of Hybrid Male Sterility in House Mice
Bret Payseur , Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin
Contact & Intro: Kate Wheeler, kwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
Mon, Nov 28
Genetic evidence for interbreeding between archaic into modern humans
David Reich, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Contact & Intro: Marc Suchard, msuchard@ucla.edu
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ABSTRACT: It has recently become possible to sequence the DNA of ancient humans, and to compare the sequence to DNA from present-day humans to learn how they are related. Here I report the results of two such studies. In the first study, we showed that Neandertals contributed about 2.5% of the genetic material of all non-Africans today. In the second study, we showed that Denisovans contributed about 5% of the genetic material of New Guineans today.

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