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Lecture to unravel the mysteries of DNA folds
[04.11.2012]

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida has invited Erez Lieberman Aiden, Ph.D., as the speaker for the 2012 R. Kent Nagle lecture. Aiden will speak about his use of innovative 3D imaging technology to study the folding structure of the human genome. The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 in ISA 1061 on the Tampa campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Aiden has been curious about the problem of how the entire length of the human genome -- nearly seven feet -- folds and fits into the nucleus of a cell. His research includes the development of groundbreaking imaging technology that allows the human genome to be sequenced entirely in 3D.

“The results have not only inspired a better understanding of biology, but have led to exciting discoveries in physics and mathematics as well,” Aiden said. “My talk will describe the history of this problem, my work to develop the first technology for three dimensional genome sequencing, our current understanding of how genomes fold, and the unexpected ways in which this work has inspired discoveries in a wide array of fields.”

Aiden is a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and Visiting Faculty at Google. His work integrates mathematical and physical theory with the invention of new technologies.

He recently invented a method for three-dimensional genome sequencing; he subsequently led the team that, in 2009, reported the first three dimensional map of the human genome. Together with collaborator Jean-Baptiste Michel, he developed culturomics, a quantitative approach to the study of history and culture that relies on computational analysis of a significant fraction of the historical record. This work led to the creation of the Google Ngram Viewer, a supplemental website that was visited more than a million times in the 24 hours after its launch.

Erez's research has won numerous awards, including a $2.5 million National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award; the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists; the Lemelson-MIT prize for the best student inventor at MIT; the American Physical Society's Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation in Biological Physics; recognition for one of the top 20 "Biotech Breakthroughs that will Change Medicine,” by Popular Mechanics; and membership in Technology Review's 2009 TR35, recognizing the top 35 innovators under 35. His last three research articles have all appeared on the cover of Nature and Science. His work also has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal.

-USF-



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