Inaugural Jefferson Science Fellow Distinguished Lecture features expert on environmental exposure and epigenetic change
Monday, Oct. 6, 2014
MANHATTAN — The Johnson Cancer Research Center at Kansas State University will present the inaugural Jefferson Science Fellow Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the president's office, at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in 221 Ackert Hall. It will be part of the weekly Division of Biology seminar series, but the public is welcome.
Jefferson fellows spend a year working with the U.S. State Department or U.S. Agency for International Development, providing up-to-date expertise in the science, technology, engineering and medical areas that impact policy decisions.
The guest speaker will be Mitchell Turker, a professor of molecular and medical genetics at Oregon Health and Science University's Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. He will give the presentation "Environmental Exposures and Epigenetic Change."
Epigenetic science explains why a single genome can lead to literally hundreds of cell types within an individual, according to Turker. His talk will explore the hypothesis that environmental exposures can cause epigenetic changes and offer a model to explain how these changes occur.
"The genome in each cell type becomes an epigenome containing a variety of modifications to histones and DNA that control the set of genes to be expressed. Epigenomes are altered in disease states, most notably cancer, but how these aberrant changes arise is unknown," Turker said.
Turker received his doctorate in pathology from the University of Washington. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and an assistant and associate professor in the departments of pathology and microbiology/immunology at the University of Kentucky, where he also served as director of experimental pathology. Before joining Oregon Health and Science University, he was a visiting associate professor in the department of genetics and development at Columbia University. Turker also has a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark Law School, with a certificate in environmental law.
A reception following the lecture will be at the Johnson Cancer Research Center in 1 Chalmers Hall.