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POSTPONED / Science Pub RVA: Genetically Speaking

peoples eyes behind gene sequence

Just over sixty years ago, the structure of DNA was first described by scientists. Since then our understanding of the “code of life” has exploded and the genetic revolution is still picking up speed. 

  • What advances have been made in the past 15 years?
  • How do scientists explore the genome today?
  • What are the paths of discovery that will drive us forward fastest and furthest?

Explore these questions and more in a relaxed, social setting at the next Science Pub RVA on March 25th. Four Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) researchers - a professor and three doctoral candidates - will each present short talks that explore the fascinating story of human genetics research and the impact this research has on our lives now and will have in the future.

Science Pub RVA on March 25th has been postponed due to COVID-19. Please check back later.

Genetically Speaking - Brien P. Riley, Ph.D., Professor, VCU
In 2003, at a cost of three billion dollars, an international collaboration of scientists sequenced a full human genome. Today, genome sequencing of individuals is routine and costs approximately $1,000. What are researchers and practitioners doing with that information? Dr. Riley will shine light on the incredibly complex universe of the human genome. He’ll ground us with a bit of history, highlight the remarkable rise of knowledge of the past fifteen years, and provide insights regarding genomic medicine.

Taking Aim at Cancer One Protein at a Time - Amy Northrop, Ph.D. candidate, VCU
The genetic revolution is transforming medicine, especially in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers. But, there are more than one hundred types of cancer and not all types respond positively or equally to known medicines and therapies. Northrop is one of the local scientists working to reduce the knowledge gap in the fight against cancer. She’ll share her story investigating a potential combinational therapy for the complex disease of triple negative breast cancer. 

Population Genetics and Health - Mariam Sankoh, Ph.D. Candidate, VCU
Population genetics seeks to understand how evolutionary change occurs over time within and between populations. Scientists use the bumps in the evolutionary road to understand the development of human diseases and to coordinate proper care. Sankoh will talk about the promise and shortfalls of this work and the relationship between population genetics and trust that is impacting people’s health.

Diversity, Genetics, and Medicine - Hope Wolf, Ph.D. candidate, VCU
Our great advances in genetic research have not led to equal benefits across society. Learn about the historical and methodological considerations which have contributed to the lack of diversity in genetic databases and studies, as well as the ongoing initiatives to correct these shortcomings. Along the way, we’ll learn how genetic studies can improve our understanding of the causes of preterm birth, and improve clinical screening and risk prediction for a population of women who have a high risk of delivering preterm.

Where and When
Wednesday,  March 25 • Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.  • Program will begin at  6:30 p.m. and conclude around 8:00 p.m.  

Located at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery • 2410 Ownby Lane  Richmond, VA  23220
Public transit and carpooling are always good ideas: Plan a GRTC bus trip. Street parking is available throughout the neighborhood and some parking is available in Hardywood's lot on the corner of Ownby and Overbrook.

Who Should Come
Any curious minds 21 and over are welcome. No background in science needed.

What to Expect
An informal night comprised of four short talks and lots of Q&A discussion with food and beverages available for purchase throughout the evening.

A mix of theatre-style and table-side seating available on a first-come, first-seated basis.  No registration needed.


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