UB Strategic Strength Sets Genetics and Genomics Seminar

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: September 4, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 100 scientists from across the country will gather for a symposium on "Genetics and Genomics in Development and Disease" on Sept. 7 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The symposium, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Zebro Room in the Center for Genetics and Pharmacology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), is being hosted by the University at Buffalo's 2020 strategic strength in Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics.

It is sponsored by UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The symposium will examine the molecular events and pathways that are critical to the development of organ systems.

Kenneth Blumenthal, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry in the UB medical school and an organizer of the symposium, notes that certain genes have to be "turned on and off" in order to make an organ system operate or develop properly. When the genes are not regulated properly, or when the pathways for those genes do not work properly, developmental disorders and diseases occur, Blumenthal says.

"We now have the ability to look at the whole genetic makeup of an organism, to see how the genes turn on and off and draw correlations to other organ systems," he says, pointing out that scientists can apply these same tools to conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer.

Speakers at the symposium will include Thomas Doetschman of the University of Arizona, Anil Menon of the University of Cincinnati, Richard Maas of Harvard and Kenneth Gross and Andrei Gudkov of RPCI. UB speakers will include Richard Gronostajski and Marc Halfon, professor and assistant professor, respectively, in the Department of Biochemistry; Matthew Disney, assistant professor of chemistry; and Denise Ferkey, assistant professor of biological sciences.

The symposium is the first of a series of thematic mini-symposia to be hosted by the strategic strength. The second, to be held in March, will focus on recombinant expression of proteins for research and therapeutics. A third symposium next summer will focus on chemical biology.

A goal of the symposia is to identify potential cross-disciplinary interactions and collaborations among UB faculty members.