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Vol. LXVII, No. 10
May 8, 2015

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Fifth Annual Nirenberg Lecture Features Page, May 20

Dr. David C. Page

Dr. David C. Page

Dr. David C. Page will deliver the fifth annual Marshall W. Nirenberg Lecture as part of the 2014-2015 Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. Page’s lecture, “Lost in Translation: Do Males and Females Read Their Genomes Differently?,” will be held on May 20 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

Page is director of the Whitehead Institute, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His laboratory seeks to understand fundamental differences between males and females in health and disease, both within and beyond the reproductive tract.

Most recently, the Page lab discovered that XY and XX sex chromosomes account for subtle differences in the molecular biology of male and female cells and tissues throughout the body. These findings emerged from the lab’s comparative genomic and evolutionary studies of the sex chromosomes of humans, other mammals and birds.

In earlier studies, the Page lab reconstructed the evolution of today’s X and Y chromosomes from an ancestral pair of chromosomes that existed 300 million years ago. They also discovered and characterized the most common genetic cause of spermatogenic failure in humans—deletion of the AZFc region of the Y chromosome. All of these insights were based on technological innovations pioneered by the Page lab to map and sequence Y and X (and Z and W) chromosomes with unprecedented precision and accuracy.

Page’s honors include a MacArthur Prize fellowship, Science magazine’s Top Ten Scientific Advances of the Year (in 1992 and again in 2003) and the 2011 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The lecture, established in 2011, recognizes Nirenberg for his work to decipher the genetic code, which resulted in his receiving the 1968 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Nirenberg’s research career at NIH spanned more than 50 years; his work also focused on neuroscience, neural development and homeobox genes. The lecture, which recognizes outstanding contributions to genetics and molecular biology, is the second of a “triplet” of events in 2015 recognizing the 50th anniversary of Nirenberg’s work on deciphering the genetic code.

For lecture information and reasonable accommodation, contact Jacqueline Roberts, (301) 594-6747.

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