F103 | Sequencing The Human Genome, How We Got There and What Does It Mean? | Howard Arkans


1:30 - 3:00 p.m. EST

Hybrid; In-person at BCC and Zoom

4/14, 4/21, 4/28,
5/5, 5/12

Five Sessions 

The sequencing of the human genome was completed in 2003. In the past two decades many advances in the understanding of evolution, disease, and the practice of medicine have changed since our knowledge of genetics has increased. In this course we will review the history of genetics from Gregor Mendel’s initial experiments to the identification of chromosomes, to the description of the Watson/Crick double helix structure of DNA. We will then learn about the sequencing of the human genome at the cost of 3 billion dollars to today’s cost of 100-500 dollars. We’ll see examples of the benefits of sequencing the genome at this time and learn about possible future applications of the knowledge we now have in identifying and treating disease.

Howard Arkans, MD attended Stanford Medical School in the '60s where he was taught genetics by Nobel Prize Winner Joshua Lederberg, and biochemistry by Nobel Prize Winner Paul Berg. Both these professors helped future researchers understand how genetics and biochemistry work. He also did research at Stanford under Tag Mansour, pharmacologist, and helped sequence the amino acids in the enzyme phosphofructokinase (part of the Krebs cycle). In pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins he interacted with Victor McKusick world famous geneticist dealing with inherited diseases (especially achondroplastic dwarfs) His interest in sequencing the genome continued as he followed the literature of the Human Genome Project (led at the NIH by pediatrician Frances Collins). Recently Stanford has been a leader using the results of the genome project, in diagnosing rare diseases as well as in general clinical medicine. Howard is also a past president of OLLI.

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