Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Impact of Modern Genetics in Our Lives

The Embassy of Greece is proud to present the next installment in its series "Health, Nutrition, and Fitness: From Ancient to Modern Times" titled "The Impact of Modern Genetics in Our Lives".On Thursday, January 19 from 7pm-8:30pm, Dr. Constantine A. Stratakis will present a lecture at the Embassy of Greece. Dr. Stratakis is currently the Scientific Director of the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Dr. Stratakis will lecture on how sequencing of the human genome and identification of genetic risks, polymorphisms, and links can change our lives. Medicine is an ever changing art, continuously adjusting to the shifting principles of philosophy and constant discoveries of science; as it was beautifully said by Hippocrates: “…η δε ιητρικη νυν τε και αυτικα ου το αυτο
ποιεει...” (“…medicine does not do the same thing at this moment and the next…”). In the mid 1980ʼs, two advances revolutionized medicine in a way that is comparable only to some of the most important events in the approximately 3,000 years of its history. The first was theoretical; it was the introduction of the concept of “positional cloning”, the idea that one can identify genes for human disease without knowing anything, or with knowing very little, about their function. The second was technical; the method of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) made DNA, the genome in essence, available to biomedical researchers and, more importantly, clinicians.

These developments took Medicine by surprise: fresh in its history were the great discoveries of neuroscience, and even more contemporary and potent, the influence of molecular biology. Cancer medicine and traditional human genetics were the fields that benefited most from the first applications of the new genomic concepts and technologies. Almost two decades later, and after the first successful applications of positional cloning in Medical Genetics with the identification of a variety of genes for multiple syndromes, the Human and many other
genomes were sequenced. Thousands of genes are now known to affect almost every part of the human body; clinical practice is now confronted with the “genomically” influenced medicine.

Τhe lecture will conclude with another of the aphorisms attributed to Hippocrates; "life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult." As Richard Levin recently wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine “life is longer now, but the art is longer still”. Indeed, the unabated advances in genetics made our art much longer!

We welcome you to what is sure to be a fascinating and informative event with one of the foremost experts in the field! Kindly RSVP to

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