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September 14, 2018 | 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Category: Conference
Location: Student Center Ballroom | Map
5221 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

We are pleased to invite you to the Presidential Sesquicentennial Symposium: Genes, Urban Environments and Health. This event is co-organized by Genomics@Wayne, RoBUST, the School of Social Work and CURES and will revolve around genomics and the impact of urban environments on human health. The program will include two plenary speakers, a panel discussion with experts and student/trainee poster session.

Our confirmed speakers include:

Cynthia Beall, Ph.D.
Distinguished University Professor
Sarah Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology
Co-Director of Center for Research on Tibet
Case Western Reserve University
Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Tracy L. Bale, Ph.D. 
Professor and Director
Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health and Brain Development
Department of Pharmacology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

The panel discussion will cover the following topics: Effects of toxicants, social stress, health disparities and other urban environments on the genome, the epigenome and life course. How can Wayne State University play a role in improving the health of Detroit? Should we sequence our personal genome for better health care? Urban microbiomes and health. Models to study environmental effects on healthy development and technologies to study gene by environment interactions.

Confirmed panelists:

Terrance Albrecht, Ph.D 
Professor and Associate Center Director for Population Sciences 
Karmanos Cancer Institute 
Wayne State University

Cathryn Bock, Ph.D 
Associate Professor of Oncology 
Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University

Douglas Ruden, Ph.D 
Professor and Director of Epigenomics
CURES, Wayne State University

Michael Simon, M.D., M.P.H. 
Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology
Karmanos Cancer Institute
Wayne State University

Joanne Sobeck, Ph.D 
Associate Dean for Research
Director for the Center for Social Work Research
School of Social Work, Wayne State University

L. Keoki Williams, M.D., M.P.H. 
Professor of Medicine
Wayne State University
Senior Scientist and Staff Physician
Department of Internal Medicine
Henry Ford Health System


Melissa Runge-Morris, M.D. 
Director, CURES 

Allison Farrell, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, RoBUST.

Submissions of abstracts for poster presentations in any topic related to this symposium are welcome. We encourage early submission as a number of abstracts will be selected for a Poster Walk and for the best poster competition. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to September 4th and for registration, September 7th, 2018. We strongly encourage early registration to help us to better plan for this event. 


Register Now!

Space is limited and registration is required


This event is free but seating is limited.  Reservations are mandatory to make sure that we can accommodate all those who wish to attend.  Please help us disseminate this event by using the share buttons.

As part of Wayne State University’s 2018 Sesquicentennial Celebration, President M. Roy Wilson will present a six-part symposia series featuring topics that reflect the institution’s rich legacy of excellence in academics and research. The series is proudly sponsored by Pepsi. Visit to learn more about Wayne State’s sesquicentennial. We look forward to celebrating with you!


For more information about this event, please contact Dawn Cochrane at +1 313 577-0502 or