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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 4, 2003

Genomics Center Holds Open House, Symposium April 11

The Roy J. Carver Center for Comparative Genomics at the University of Iowa will host an open laboratory from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, April 11 in the labs on the second floor of the Old Biology Building, Dubuque Street and Jefferson Avenue, and a symposium beginning at 2:30 p.m. in Kollros Auditorium in Biology Building East.

The free, public symposium, titled “Comparative Genomics: Genotype to Phenotype,” and related events will celebrate the center's establishing grant and build upon the center's interdisciplinary collaborations.

Following a 2 p.m. tea in the Biology Building East Lobby, Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will deliver opening remarks in Kollros Auditorium. Scheduled symposium topics and speakers are: "Insights on Photosynthesis Evolution with a Functional Perspective," Elizabeth Gantt, University of Maryland; "Rules governing cis-regulatory module structure/function," Martin Kreitman, University of Chicago; "The evolution of pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana," Joy Bergelson, University of Chicago; and "Genome Scans for Footprints of Selection," Chip Aquadro, Cornell University.

UI biology faculty and center principal investigators offering introductory remarks for the four symposium talks are: assistant professor Debashish Bhattacharya, associate professor Josep Comeron, professor Stephen Hendrix, and assistant professor Bryant McAllister.

William Ballard, center director, principal investigator and professor in the biological sciences, says that the center is a leader in examining DNA sequences from many diverse organisms to establish the commonalities and differences between them. “The symposium brings to Iowa several leaders in the field of comparative genomics. As the symposium title suggests, the speakers will provide insights from the translation of DNA sequence data to its effect on the organism’s development as discovered through the use of comparative genomics methods,” Ballard said.

Established in the fall of 2001 with a $700,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, the center is a part of the UI department of biological sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The center supports research and training of graduate and undergraduate students through close collaboration with the curriculum in biological sciences and through cooperative interactions with other departments and faculty members on campus.

Occupying some 8,000 square feet on the second floor of the Old Biology Building and about 12,500 square feet in the Biology Building, the center is one of the first of its kind in the United States. It distinguishes the UI as a leader in the new and emerging discipline of comparative genomics, the study of the inter-relatedness of all life forms. For more information on the day’s events, please consult the center Webpage at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,