STEP Forum on 'Genes, Environment, Disease'
A forum session entitled "Complex Traits: Genes, Environment and Disease" will be presented by the Staff Training in Extramural Programs (STEP) committee on Thursday, June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Natcher Conference Center's main auditorium.
Increasingly, science is recognizing that many human characteristics and diseases are the result of complex interactions between genes and environment. For example, diseases such as obesity, mental illness, coronary artery disease and hypertension are now considered to result from intricate interactions among multiple genetic and environmental factors that may occur at different points in development and may make outcomes difficult to predict.
Until a few years ago, it was thought that single-gene diseases would be the only ones that could benefit from the Human Genome Project and emerging new technological advances in molecular biology. However, through the use of animal models and new genetic strategies, the identification of genes that play a role in complex diseases has become possible.
The forum will present an overview of issues involved in dissecting complex traits, presentations of progress with specific diseases, and a presentation on how the pharmaceutical industry is addressing how gene variations in individuals affect the safety and efficacy of a given drug.
Speakers and topics include: Dr. Jonathan Haines, Vanderbilt University, "Overview of Complex Trait Genetics"; Dr. Richard Lewontin, Harvard, "Three Serious Problems in the Study of Complex Traits"; Dr. Jean MacCluer, Southwest Foundation, "Cardiovascular Disease: Finding Genes for Complex Traits"; Dr. David Allison, Columbia University, "Genetic and Environmental Influences on Obesity," and Dr. William Gerber, DiaDexus, "Is the Diagnosis of Complex Traits Coming Soon?"
All NIH employees are invited to attend. No advance registration is necessary. Inform the STEP office at 435-2769 regarding any need for sign language interpretation or reasonable accommodation by June 1.
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