Beyond the double helix - Why your DNA isnt the whole story
The yearly Nicholson Lecture at Karolinska Institutet presents Professor C. David Allis, Joy and Jack Fishman Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, The Rockefeller University, New York
Although every gene exists within every cell in the human body, only a small percentage of genes is activated in any given cell type (brain, kidney, liver, etc). To manage this genetic information efficiently, nature has evolved a sophisticated system that facilitates access to specific genes by regulating just how tightly the DNA is wrapped around a spool of specialized proteins, called histones. Like a slinky toy, this packaging can be stretched (genes on) or compacted (genes off). This DNA-histone protein complex, called chromatin, serves then to regulate our genetic information in addition to our DNA (the basis of epi-genetics or above-genetics). Understanding fundamental mechanisms that govern epigenetic regulation lie at the heart of development and differentiation as well as abnormal pathways that lead to a wide range of pathologies, including cancer. The implications of this rapidly-growing research area for human biology and health are far-reaching.
Rockefeller University and Karolinska Institutet
The Nicholson Award Lecture is a joint initiative by Rockefeller University and Karolinska Institutet. Each year two Nicholson Lectures are held - one at each university. The first Nicholson Lectures was held in 2011 and was awarded the late Nobel Laureate Ralph Steinman, Rockefeller University and Thomas Perlmann, Karolinska Institutet.
Each university nominates candidates for lecture at the partner university and the host university chooses the final candidate.