Comparative Animal Genomics And Evolution Of Human Disease

The 14th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) will feature a discussion on the similarities in genomic diseases between animals and humans, titled “Comparative Genomics and Human Disease: Some Recent Contributions from Zoos.

” In his discussion, Dr. Oliver A. Ryder, Geneticist, Director and Kleberg Chair of Genetics at the Zoological Society of San Diego, will focus on how genetic diversity in great apes compares to our own genetic make-up, and contributes to similarities and differences in disease risk, including cardiovascular disease.

“It’s fascinating to analyze the structural aspects that contribute to the genetic make-up of animals like the great apes,” said Dr. Ryder. “Significant progress in genome sequencing is allowing us to conduct human and ape comparison studies, lending great insight to our understanding of the trajectory and evolution of genomic disease.”

Dr. Ryder’s discussion will highlight his team’s research on the cell culture and banking of cells, tissues and DNA in the Frozen Zoo(TM) of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. His research has allowed the team to study genetic variation, sex determination, paternity analysis and evolutionary changes between populations and species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. In his presentation, Dr. Ryder will also touch on the dietary risk factors in animals like the great apes, which have revealed a high rate of mortality attributable to cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Ryder’s research team undertakes educational activities locally as well as capacity building for and transfer of technology to countries with significant wildlife resources form an integral part of the division’s activities. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Biology at the University of California at San Diego, in the Biology Department at San Diego State University, and is a Visiting Scientist at the University of California, Riverside. Recently, he was a co-organizer of the Genome 10K project to unveil the diversity of vertebrate life by sequencing and analyzing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species.

Source: The Heart Failure Society of America

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