Montana State University

Free seminar on understanding disease mutations set for Oct. 14 at MSU

October 6, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN - A free public seminar on using molecular evolution and genomic medicine to understand disease mutations will be held Friday, Oct. 14, at Montana State University.

Sudhir Kumar, director of The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, will speak on "Phylomedicine: An evolutionary telescope to explore and diagnose the universe of disease mutations" at 11:10 a.m. in the Byker Auditorium of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Building.

Phylomedicine uses molecular evolution and genomic medicine to help understand genetic variations that affect human health and disease. The technology to answer questions on a genomic scale is not yet available, but the process of natural section has produced an almost infinite set of tests in nature, according to Kumar. Therefore, it is possible to use models to compute and evaluate the severity of genetic variations. Scientists can use genetics and molecular history to predict a person's predisposition to disease and his or her ability to adapt.

Kumar's seminar is the first of three in a fall series organized by doctoral students in MSU's Molecular Biosciences Program. The other two seminars are set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 9.

Kumar is the Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics Professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. For more information about him, go to http://www.kumarlab.net For more information about the seminar series, contact Stephanie Cunningham, director of the Molecular Biosciences Program, at (406) 994-6652 or mbprogram@montana.edu

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu