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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Sex, Disease, Chromosome Size To Feature in Early-Career Investigator Lecture, Apr. 10

Dr. Melissa Wilson

Arizona State University’s Dr. Melissa A. Wilson

Photo: Melissa Wilson

The X and Y sex chromosomes

Humans typically have two sex chromosomes—X (larger pair) and Y.

Photo: Melissa Wilson

For decades, scientists have sought to understand genomic differences between men and women by studying the sex chromosomes (X and Y). In general, women carry two X chromosomes and men have one X and one Y. But the story is much more complicated. For example, about a million people in the United States have an atypical number of sex chromosomes—and many don’t even know it.

At the 4th annual NIGMS Director’s Early-Career Investigator Lecture, Dr. Melissa A. Wilson, a computational biologist at Arizona State University, will explain what she and other researchers are learning about sex chromosomes. She will share her team’s findings about the divergent evolution of X and Y, and will describe how new techniques can help scientists better understand sex-linked diseases. 

The lecture, “Sex-Biased Genome Evolution,” takes place Wednesday, Apr. 10 at 10 a.m. in Lister Hill Auditorium, Bldg. 38A. After a 30-minute lecture, Wilson will answer questions from the audience about her research and career path.

Open to everyone in the scientific community, the early-career investigator lectures are designed to introduce undergraduate students and others to cutting-edge research and inspire them to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences. 

NIH trainees are encouraged to attend in person or by NIH videocast (live or later). For more details, see

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