Speaker: Prof Richard Ebstein
Title: Blood genomics: The peripheral transcriptome as a window to peek inside the brain
Date: Friday 16 September, 1-2 pm
Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)
Next generation sequencing (NGS) provides the technology to examine virtually all RNA molecules transcribed in cells and tissues and not surprisingly this methodology has quickly become the gold standard for examining differential gene and non-coding RNA expression in normal and pathological human behaviors. Today’s talk will briefly introduce the promise and some of the pitfalls of this new technology and how it can be applied in particular to studies of human behavior especially when coupled with functional imaging studies.
Following an overview of this cutting edge technology, we will discuss in more detail some of our studies of human sociality and oxytocinergic pathways using an older but still reliable methodology for looking at peripheral gene expression and make the case that such studies aka “blood genomics”, are a valuable addition to understanding the molecular machinery underpinning some aspects of human behaviour.
About the Speaker:
Richard Ebstein’s research revolves around human behavior genetics, with the overarching goal of providing molecular insights into the role of genes as a partial contributor to all facets of human behavior. His work is highly interdisciplinary and combines personality, social, cognitive, and neuropsychology with techniques of molecular genetics. Major research areas include neuroeconomics, the genetics of social behavior and normal personality, autism, ADHD, eating disorders, and substance abuse.