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October 3, 2019 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Scott Hall #3125 | Map
540 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201
Cost: Free
Audience: Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

J. Andrew Pospisilik, PhD

Professor and Director, Van Andel Research Institute, Center for Epigenetics

Abstract

Complex trait diseases afflict >2 billion people worldwide. The rapid rise in particular of early life disease carries long-term health burdened including heart disease, diabetes and stroke, making the issue one of the world’s chief economic and health care challenges of the day. Whereas our understanding of the genetic framework for complex disease has expanded dramatically the last decades, our understanding of causal epigenetic mechanisms of disease remain poorly understood. Our focus has been to mine and understand the mechanisms underpinning non-genetic disease heterogeneity and thus understand the spectrum of disease potential that lies within each individual. I will discuss how these efforts have uncovered a chromatin (PRC2) based mechanism buffering beta-cell dedifferentiation, as well as signalling modules that drive and potentiate browning of adipose tissues. Also how they have revealed mechanistic underpinnings for intergenerational control of non-genetic variation and what we believe to be the first stochastic disease ‘switch’ yielding distinct phenotypic ‘on’ and ‘off’ states in mouse and potentially man. The data suggest a highly regulated landscape of non-genetic phenotypic variation defines mammalian disease. 

For more information about this event, please contact Suzanne Shaw at 5775325 or sshaw@wayne.edu.