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Unraveling MicroRNA: Alltech Teams up with the University of Kentucky for Nutrigenomics Symposium

[Lexington, KY] – Alltech and the University of Kentucky’s sixth annual Distinguished Lecture Series in Nutrigenomics will take place at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital on Oct. 16, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with registration and refreshments starting at 8:30 a.m. Featuring some of the field’s most preeminent researchers, this program will examine how nutrition and environment influence the ways genetic expression is controlled. This free event is a great opportunity for students and professionals in the fields of medicine and nutrition, or anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge of genetics and health, to learn more about nutrigenomics.

Nutrigenomics is the study of nutritional effects on gene expression. By analyzing how diet and health interact and how nutrition affects animals and humans at the genetic level, nutrigenomics explores ways to improve development, disease resistance and health through nutrition.

The focus of this year’s symposium is microRNA as a regulator of gene expression. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a special class of small RNA molecules that influence how the basic genetic code is converted into functional proteins. Growing evidence shows that miRNAs exhibit a variety of regulatory functions related to cell growth, development and differentiation, and are increasingly recognized for their role in influencing a wide variety of disease processes and aging.

Speakers include Dr. Jun Lu, assistant professor from Yale University’s Department of Genetics’ Stem Cell Center, who will explore the topic of miRNA regulation of stem-cell differentiation and leukemia; Dr. Carmen J. Marsit, assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Pharmacology and Toxicology, who will cover the role of miRNA in regulating placental function and fetal growth; and  as a closing discussion, Dr. Eugenia Wang, professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s Gheens Center on Aging, will describe the role of miRNA in regulating aging processes.

A question-and-answer session will follow each discussion, allowing for an open conversation between attendees and expert professors.

“The discovery of microRNA has taken nutrigenomics by storm,” said Dr. Karl Dawson, Alltech vice president and chief scientific officer. “We are excited to delve further into this expansive and fascinating area of gene expression.”

The lecture series is part of the Alltech-UK Nutrition Research Alliance, established in 2004, which aims to explore challenges in modern agriculture and human health, as well as create the next generation of scientists. 

Click here for more information. Registration will begin onsite at 8:30 a.m., and the program will conclude at approximately 1 p.m.