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The University of Southampton

Wrong for a living – short stories on genetics Event

Image of DNA
21 September 2017
Lecture Theatre 2, Level B, South Academic Block, SGH

Event details

Part of the Inagral lecture series

Deborah Mackay studied at Oxford University and University College London, and is now the Professor of Medical Epigenetics at the University of Southampton, UK, studying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of human imprinting disorders. Imprinting disorders disturb the epigenetic control of critical subset of genes that regulate human growth, development and metabolism. Deborah’s research is translational, integrating the clinical history of patients with genomic and epigenomic studies to uncover the pathological mechanisms of their disease; her findings are translated into improved molecular diagnosis and personalised management. She currently has over 90 peer-reviewed publications including first and lastauthor publications in the top journals in medical genetics, publications in Nature Genetics and the Lancet, and co-authorship of reviews and best-practice guidelines for diagnosis and clinical care.

Our cells all contain the same DNA, but they all do different things with it. It is these differences across cells, tissues, organs, ages and stages that define who we are, how we grow and age, and how our bodies change in response to our changing environment. This amazing plasticity is epigenetic – written on the genes in every cell of our bodies. But when epigenetic marking goes wrong, it can alter growth, development, metabolism, behaviour, and susceptibility to disorders like cancer or diabetes. Understanding epigenetics has potential to transform our understanding of development, health and disease.

In this lecture Deborah will tell stories from twenty years in medical epigenetics: fundamental observations of children with rare diseases, pivotal insights into biological mechanisms, and radical improvements in diagnosis and care. She hopes to show how the field of medical epigenetics is developing, and how it has developed her as a scientist growing ever more accustomed to being wrong for a living.


Refreshments from 16:45

Lecture from 17:15

A wine and canapé reception will follow in the Lecture Theatre foyer until 19:00

Speaker information

Professor Deborah Mackay,Professor Deborah Mackay is Professor of Medical Epigenetics within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

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