Join Anne Ferguson-Smith, Professor of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, to explore genetics and epigenetics.
Epigenetics – literally ‘on top of’ genetics – refers to chemical modifications to our genetic material that affect the function of our DNA code. While the transmission of traits and genetic diseases from one generation to the next depends on the heritability of genetic information encoded by our DNA (our genome), there is considerable interest in the extent to which epigenetic information can be inherited. In particular, the idea that the environment ‘communicates’ with our genome via the epigenome with implications for the health of future generations, has become a subject of debate. This will be explored in Anne’s lecture.
Anne Ferguson-Smith is the Arthur Balfour Professor of Genetics and Head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge. She studied molecular biology at Glasgow University and received her PhD in Biology from Yale University USA, exploring the importance of genome organisation in development and disease. In 1989, she moved to Cambridge for postdoctoral work in the new field of epigenetic inheritance and this has been her focus since then. Anne chairs the Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board at the UK Medical Research Council, and is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
This lecture is part of the 2018 Contextual Lecture Series: Tomorrow's World - Intimations of the Future.