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David Botstein to discuss the Human Genome Project on Jan. 31

David Botstein, Ph.D. is renowned for his role in the development of the Human Genome Project.

Renowned geneticist and pioneer of the Human Genome Project, David Botstein, Ph.D., will visit Lehigh University for a free public lecture on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4 p.m.

Botstein, a Princeton University professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences, will discuss how the genome and the computer are changing biomedical science at Whitaker, Room 303.

Botstein will also give a technical lecture on Wednesday, January 30 at 4 p.m. at Whitaker, Room 303 on the coordination of growth rate, cell cycle, stress response and metabolic activity in yeast. His visit is funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

Botstein’s research has centered on genetics, especially the use of genetic methods to understand biological functions. He is widely recognized for his pioneering research that established the basis for modern genomics and for his role in the development of the Human Genome Project. His early work in bacterial genetics contributed to the discovery of transposable elements in bacteria and an understanding of their physical structures and genetic properties.

“Dr. Botstein has been at the forefront of the field of genomics,” said Vassie Ware, associate professor of biological sciences who is the lead instructor in the course and co-director of the HHMI grant. Within this field biologists and computer scientists have transformed our abilities to understand biological information, creating new opportunities in many areas of biological research and medicine.”

“In particular, the impact on human health has been enormous, allowing scientists and practitioners to make strides in drug development, understanding individual drug responses, and understanding the molecular basis of disease,” said Ware.

At Princeton, Botstein is director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and oversees the Center of Excellence in Complex Biomedical Systems Research, established by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. He has long been a proponent of interdisciplinary approaches to major problems in the life sciences, and his research integrates quantitative methods, physics, and computational science.

Botstein is leading a team of faculty who are teaching a new experimental introductory science curriculum, where the basic ideas of physics, chemistry, computer science and biology, along with the relevant mathematics, are taught together.

--Tricia Long

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008

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