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Dr. Ian Adams talks on maintenance of genome stability

4.3.2016 Molecular Medicine Seminar Topic: Maintaining genome stability across the generations: protecting the genome in the mouse germline

SPEAKER: Dr. Ian Adams, Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh

WHEN: March 8, 2016, from 9:30

WHERE: Campus MU, Kamenice 5, building A35, room 21

Dr Ian Adams from University of Edinburgh will give a talk about  on maintaining genetic and chromosomal stability in mammalian germ cells with particular focus on protecting the genome in the mouse germline.

Ian Adams studied molecular biology as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh before carrying out his PhD research on chromosome segregation in yeast at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He then undertook post-doctoral research on mouse germ cell development at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, before returning to Edinburgh supported by a fellowship from the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine.

Ian Adams' research at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine is aimed at understanding how genetic and chromosomal stability is maintained in mammalian germ cells.

Dr. Adams is trying to find out how the body makes sure that parents pass the right number of chromosomes on to their children. Mistakes in this process are very common in humans and cause miscarriage, infertility, and Down's Syndrome.

Most of the mistakes that cause embryos to inherit the wrong number of chromosomes happen when eggs are being made in the mother, and that these mistakes are very common in older mothers. However the behaviour of the chromosomes in developing eggs is difficult to study in humans because these cells are rare and only found in the ovary deep inside the body.

Mice are much better at passing the right number of chromosomes on to their children than humans, and Dr. Adams have found a new gene that helps mice do this. Female mice that have mutations in this gene make eggs carrying the wrong number of chromosomes. The mistakes happening in these mutant mouse eggs mimic some of the mistakes that happen in human eggs. We hope that by finding the genes that help mouse eggs and sperm carry the right number of chromosomes, we might be able to help humans eggs do the same.