News Release: Events, Research

Mar. 13,  2009

Epigeneticist to Give 'Life of The Mind' Talk March 16

News Article ImageEpigeneticist Victor Corces

The "nature versus nurture" debate has taken new twists and turns in recent years, as epigeneticists have started unraveling the mysteries of how genetic material is packaged.  Emory University scientist and chair of biology Victor Corces, whose lab is working at the leading edge of epigenetics, will give a talk Monday, March 16, on "Beyond the Genome: DNA is Not Destiny."

The free, public lecture begins at 4 p.m. in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library. Visitor parking is available in the Fishburne deck, 1672 N. Decatur Road. For more information, call 404.727.4632. The event is part of the "Life of the Mind" lecture series, which showcases Emory's leading faculty members each month.

Understanding epigenetics could lead to more effective treatments of everything from cancer to heart disease. "It lies at the basis of human health," says Corces, who is also Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

While geneticists study the content of DNA, epigeneticists look at the patterns formed by DNA threads, known as chromatin fibers. Epigeneticists have discovered that these fibers are arranged in loops, similar to the outline of flower petals. The loops are formed by groups of proteins on the threads that can interact with one another and chemically bind together.

Corces' lab is studying the proteins involved in the formation of these loops, and trying to determine the function of the loop structure.

The "Life of the Mind" lectures are framed in ways that non-specialists can understand, and include time for discussion. The series is sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

Original release posted March 12, 2009

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