NEWS | December 19, 2011

Developmental delay the topic of next MIND Institute lecture


Evan E. Eichler, a professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, will discuss "Developmental Delay and Human Copy Number Variation" during the January UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series presentation.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the MIND Institute auditorium at 2825 50th St., Sacramento. It is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

Eichler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, combines various disciplines, including evolutionary biology, human genetics/genomics, and bioinformatics, to understand the mechanisms and consequences of novel forms of variation in the human genome. Using computational and experimental approaches, he focuses on duplicated regions and structural variation in the human genome, investigating the architecture of these regions and their role in evolution and disease, including developmental delay.

Eichler and others have recently shown that the human genome changes constantly and that duplicate sequences are among the fastest evolving regions. He and his team focus on the role of these regions within the human genome, investigating how they evolved and how they contribute to disease.

His lab plans to search for specific regions that can be linked to inherited conditions, such as congenital birth defects and intellectual disability. He is particularly focused on genetic diseases caused by chromosomal abnormalities, such as Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes.

Eichler completed his doctoral studies in molecular genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in 1995. He holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Future Distinguished Lecturer Series speakers will include Ricardo Dolmetsch of Stanford University, who will discuss "Using iPS Cells and mouse models to study autism" on Feb. 8; Joel T. Nigg of the Oregon Health and Science University, who will speak on "ADHD Causes and Mechanisms" on March 14; and F. Xavier Castellanos of New York University, who will discuss "The Restless Brain: Spontaneous brain fluctuations and increased variability in ADHD" on April 11. Additional series presentations will take place on May 9 and June 13.

All Distinguished Lecturer Series presentations are free and open to the public, with no reservations required. The MIND Institute Resource Center, specializing in information and resources relating to neurodevelopmental disorders and related conditions, is open one hour before and 30 minutes after each presentation.

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, CA, was founded in 1998 as a unique interdisciplinary research center where parents, community leaders, researchers, clinicians and volunteers work together toward a common goal: researching causes, treatments and eventual preventions and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. The institute has major research efforts in autism, Tourette syndrome, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More information about the institute and its Distinguished Lecturer Series, including previous presentations in this series, is available on the Web at