A New Frontier: Understanding epigenetics through mathematics 

Thursday 20 June 2013,  6pm–7.15pm
Soundings Theatre, Level 2
Free entry (limited places)

Professor Terry Speed, 2013 Royal Society of New Zealand Distinguished Speaker, discusses the next frontier of DNA research.

Epigenomes are the ‘instructions’ which tell the DNA whether to make skin cells or blood cells or other body parts. Apart from a few exceptions, all the cells of an organism have the same DNA sequence. So why are the blood, nerve, skin, and muscle cells so different? The answer lies in epigenetics. If the genome sequence is like text, the epigenome is the punctuation and shows how the DNA should be read.

Professor Terry Speed is a world leader in bioinformatics. His work has enabled scientists to assess which genes are being turned on in a cell and to what extent. It has helped identify areas of the human genome that contribute to cancer, genes that are vital for embryonic development, and malaria proteins responsible for initiating infection in human red blood cells. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and has been honoured with some of Australia’s top scientific awards.

You can register for this event at www.royalsociety.org.nz/events/