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Release: Immediate

Human genetics professor to give UI Ida Beam lectures May 13-14

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dr. Charles Epstein, professor of pediatrics, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics and director of the Birth Defects Center at the University of California, San Francisco, will lecture May 13-14 at the University of Iowa as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor.

His free, public lecture, "Is Human Genetics Becoming Dangerous to Society?" will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14 in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

Epstein will also present two scientific lectures, the first titled "The Genetic Manipulation of Oxygen-Free Radical Metabolism," will be given at 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 13 in the Medical Alumni Auditorium, E-331 General Hospital. The second lecture, titled "The Future of Research on Down Syndrome," will be given at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14 in the Rembolt Room, 203 Hospital School.

Renowned for his research of human genetics and birth defects, Epstein is particularly noted for his research of Down syndrome. He is a prominent lecturer on the impact of science on society and a gifted and passionate speaker about the relationship between science and humanism. His accomplishments include: Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, president of the American Society of Human Genetics, and member of the National Institutes of Health Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project Evaluation Committee.

Epstein's visit is sponsored by the genetics doctorate program and the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Program. Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her family farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring a variety of top scholars to the university for lectures and discussions.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate should contact the genetics doctorate program at 335-1056.