Reading the genome – how we are trying to make sense and make use of our DNA blueprint


Date Thursday June 17th 2004
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

We each carry about 850 MB of DNA blueprint to our bodies. The program encoded by this molecule determines every aspect of our body, from height to looks, even aspects of behavior and personality. The recent decoding of the human genome has received much acclaim, but as you might expect from any code that had been patched and revised over a few billion years – it’s not the easiest to understand.

This talk will look at how we are looking at the genome, what it is telling us about our fundamental biology, and how we can apply it to live longer and healthier lives. The genome is also ushering a revolution in biology, moving from a focused hypothesis-driven discipline to one where complexity and data are emergent. Some of the opportunities and challenges in this shift will also be presented. No prior knowledge of bioinformatics, and only a rudimentary grasp of biology will be assumed.



Dr. Manning is the incoming director of bioinformatics for the Salk Institute of San Diego, one of the nation's premier biological research centers. His research interests center on the use of computational methods to the understanding and application of complex biological processes, particularly in genomics and evolution. He has worked as consultant to academia, and biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and has held full time positions in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and bioinformatics software companies. At the biotechnology company, Sugen, his group carried out a landmark analysis of the 'kinome' - a subset of the genome containing 500 genes encoding critical biological regulators called protein kinases (see ). This work is being used to develop human therapuetics in over a dozen pharmaceutical companies, and as a model for other post-genome analyses. At Molecular Applications Group, he led the team that developed the first commercial software for analysis of microarray('Gene Chip') gene expression data, and pioneered the analysis of multiple bacterial genome sequences to discover their biological functions. Dr. Manning has a bachelor of science degree from the National University of Ireland and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University.

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