UNC Center for Genome Sciences to inaugurate new seminar series with help of national experts

CHAPEL HILL -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills new Center for Genome Sciences will kick off a seminar series on functional genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics Aug. 27 with a talk by Dr. Oliver Smithies, one of the universitys most distinguished scientists.

More than a dozen other national experts in those fields will follow during the 2001-2002 academic year. Smithies address is titled Mouse Solutions to Pharmacological Problems. He is excellence professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. He also is developer of gene targeting, a renowned technique that allows scientists to disable genes in mice and breed successive generations of the animals to learn what role genes play in mammals, including humans.

Talks are free, and the public is encouraged to attend. All but the Oct. 1 presentation will be held on Mondays from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Room 136 of the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, located off Pittsboro Street. Genomics and proteomics are studies of information in genes and proteins, respectively, and bioinformatics is the science of handling and using biological data.

This is an exciting opportunity for the university community and the public to hear from some of the nations top scientists about the revolution in our current understanding of what genes and proteins do, said Dr. Harold L. Kohn. Kenan professor of medicinal chemistry at the school of pharmacy, Kohn co-chairs the new seminar series with Dr. Jeffrey L. Dangl, John N. Couch professor of biology.

The Human Genome Project is nearly complete, Kohn said. It has provided a wealth of sequence information leading to identification of all known genes. Similarly, rapid progress is being made to sequence the genetic material of known pathogens and organisms that affect life and well being.

The next challenge will be to provide meaning to this vast catalog of information, a challenge orders of magnitude more difficult than th

Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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