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College of Science & Mathematics

Dean's Fall Lecture Series - Bioinformatics

The College of Science and Mathematics fall Dean's Distinguished Speaker

Series kicks off with Dr. Sarah Tishkoff's presentation, "African

Evolutionary Genomics: Implications for Human Origins and Disease."

Sponsored by the CSM Dean's Office and Bioinformatics


Friday, October 4

Rowan Hall Auditorium

1:45 pm - 3:00 pm


Abstract: Africa contains the greatest levels of human genetic variation

and is the source of the worldwide range expansion of all modern humans.

And yet relatively little is known about genomic variation in ethnically

diverse African populations. Knowledge of genetic structure within Africa

has important implications for the design and implementation of disease

association studies in Africans and African Americans, and for

reconstructing modern human origins. Additionally, studies of genetic

adaptation in Africa have important implications for identifying genes

that play an important role in human evolution and disease. The African

populations included in this study practice diverse subsistence patterns

and have diverse diets (hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, agriculturalists,

and agro-pastoralists), and live in diverse environments with differing

pathogen exposure (tropical forest, savannah, coastal, desert, low

altitude, and high altitude) and, therefore, are likely to have

experienced local adaptation. Dr. Tishkoff will discuss results of

analyses of genome-scale genetic variation in geographically,

linguistically, and ethnically diverse African populations in order to

reconstruct human evolutionary history in Africa as well as the genetic

basis of adaption to diverse environments.


Biography: Dr. Tishkoff holds appointments in the School of Medicine and

the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Tishkoff studies genomic and

phenotypic variation in ethnically diverse Africans. Her research

combines field work, laboratory research, and computational methods to

examine African population history and how genetic variation can affect a

wide range of practical issues. Dr. Tishkoff is a recipient of an NIH

Pioneer Award, a David and Lucile Packard Career Award, a

Burroughs/Wellcome Fund Career Award and a Penn Integrates Knowledge

(PIK) endowed chair. She is on the editorial boards at Genome Research;

Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health; Molecular Biology and Evolution;

and G3 (Genes, Genomes, and Genetics). Her research is supported by

grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science



General audience is invited.