September 4, 2018

Sasha Makohon-Moore (Duke University)

Investigation of genetic and epigenetic modifications in human adipocytes

Understanding the underpinnings of uniquely human traits is critical to understanding our evolutionary origins as well as our disease risks. We, as humans, have a much higher risk of many diseases compared with other primates. The use of induced pluripotent stem cells from humans and chimpanzees provides samples and experimental controls that were previously unavailable. Utilizing genome-wide epigenetic profiling, gene expression measurements and regulatory region sequencing, we can identify genes that have changed expression due to genetic modifications, epigenetic modifications, or a combination of both. This will allow us to identify changes that may have had profound impacts on our evolutionary history as well as our susceptibility to disease. (website)