May 22, 2017

17th Annual James V. Neel Lecture in Human Genetics

2:00 PM

BSRB, Kahn Auditorium

The 2017 lecture will feature Dr. Neil Risch, human geneticist and professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


James V Neel
James V. Neel, M.D., Ph.D. 

The 17th Annual James V. Neel Lecture in Human Genetics will take place on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., in the Biomedical Research Building, Kahn Auditorium, corner of Huron Ave and Zina Pitcher Pl., Ann Arbor.  The lecture honors James Van Gundia Neel, M.D. (1915-2000), a pioneer in developing human genetics research and who established the first Department of Human Genetics in 1956 at the University of Michigan, serving as its Chair for over 25 years. He received the Lasker Award for establishing the genetic inheritance of thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, and was awarded the United States National Medal of Science from President Gerald R. Ford in 1974. Dr. Neel is well known for assessing the effects of radiation on survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan, studying Amerindian populations, and conceptualizing the “thrifty gene” hypothesis.

Neil Risch
Dr. Neil Risch

The 2017 lecture will feature Dr. Neil Risch, human geneticist and professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  Risch is the Lamond Family Foundation Distinguished Professor in Human Genetics and Director of the Institute for Human Genetics and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF.

Dr. Risch is widely known for developing and applying an array of approaches to genetic epidemiology -- the effort to identify the genetic basis for diseases caused by gene interaction with environmental and dietary factors. His population-based and family-based studies employ gene-mapping and innovative bio-statistical tools to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for such conditions as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and Crohn's disease. He has collaborated with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research for the past 8 years on population-based genetic epidemiology studies.   The Institute brings together scientists from a very broad range of human genetic studies -- from basic to clinical, and from psychiatry to cardiovascular research -- to identify genes that contribute to human disease and variation in response to drugs.

Risch received his PhD in biomathematics from UCLA in 1979.  Prior to coming to UCSF in 2005 to head the Institute for Human Genetics, Risch held faculty appointments at Columbia, Yale, and Stanford Universities, and is a graduate of the biomathematics program at the University of California at Los Angeles.  In 2004, he was the recipient of the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics.   He has been described as “the statistical geneticist of our time”.

Following the lecture, a poster session and reception will be held in the meeting rooms adjacent to the auditorium.

For more information, contact the Department of Human Genetics, 734-647-3149.

James V. Neel Lecturers:

  • 2016 - Andrew Clark (Watch Recorded Video)
  • 2015 - Haig H. Kazazian Jr
  • 2014 - Richard P. Lifton
  • 2013 - Huntington F. Willard
  • 2012 - Mary Claire King
  • 2011 - David Page
  • 2010 - David Botstein
  • 2009 - Aravinda Chakravarti 
  • 2008 - Janet Rowley
  • 2007 - Joe Goldstein
  • 2006 - Newton Morton
  • 2005 - Charles Scriver
  • 2004 - Arno Motulsky
  • 2003 - James Crow
  • 2002 - Cavalli-Sforza
  • 2001 - Jack Schull