Medical physics to welcome Randy L. Jirtle, PhD

The Department of Medical Physics is pleased to announce Randy L. Jirtle, PhD, professor of epigenetics at North Carolina State University, as its 2023 John R. Cameron Symposium guest speaker. Join us on Monday, September 18, at 4 p.m., when Jirtle will present Epigenetics and Human Health. The presentation will be held in the Health Sciences Learning Center with an online option as well.

Date: Monday, September 18 | 4-5 p.m.
Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 1345 | Webex
Title: Epigenetics and Human Health

Presentation Abstract:

Metastable epialleles and imprinted genes are two subsets of genes that are epigenetically regulated. Genes with metastable epialleles have highly variable expressions because of stochastic allelic modifications in the epigenome. Genomic imprinting is an unusual epigenetic form of gene regulation that results in monoallelic expression in a parent-of-origin dependent manner. I shall provide evidence that alteration in the function of these epigenetically labile genes is the mechanism by which human health is linked to environmental exposures, as John Cameron posited.

Professor Randy Jirtle directed a research laboratory at Duke University from 1977-2012. He is currently a Professor of Epigenetics at North Carolina State University. Jirtle’s scientific interests include epigenetics, genomic imprinting, and the fetal origins of disease susceptibility. He is best known for his studies linking environmental exposures early in life to the development of adult diseases through changes in the epigenome; determining the evolutionary origin of genomic imprinting in mammals; and deciphering the human imprintome. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and edited three books. He was a featured scientist on the NOVA television program on epigenetics entitled, Ghost in Your Genes, and ShortCutsTV produced a British documentary, Are You What Your Mother Ate? The Agouti Mouse Study. He has received numerous awards including, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006); Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Nominee (2007); the inaugural recipient of the Epigenetic Medicine Award (2008); the Linus Pauling Award (2014); and the Alexander Hollaender Award (2019).

For more on Jirtle, read The science or hope: an interview with Randy Jirtle.