Dr. Vinod Kumar | Kumar Lab
Cycles in biological systems are all-pervasive in nature. Birds, like any other species, express daily rhythms in activity/rest, hormone secretion, and several other rhythmic characteristics. Most bird species also show long-term cycles in feeding behavior, body fattening (in migrants), reproduction, molt, or migration. Both daily and seasonal behaviors are under the strict control of the endogenous clock mechanisms, but the role of the environment remains critical for optimal performance and ultimately survival. Synchrony with the environment is achieved through the interaction of clock components with external cues (e.g. photoperiod), and internal coordination among different rhythmic physiological correlates is achieved through neural and endocrine signaling. Thus, we are interested to learn about how birds achieve precision in timing their daily and seasonal activities in sync with the periodic environment. Our research effort mainly centers around the “Avian Circadian and Seasonal Systems: Study from Behavior to Molecules”. The working hypothesis has been that specialized cells localized in different tissues express genes involved in the clock circuitry, and different cell populations control the food intake, body fattening, reproductive axis, molt, and migration, in a way that each event can be timed and spaced with each other to optimize an ecological adaptation.
Department of Biology Outreaching to the Community
June 15, 2023
Within the last two weeks, elementary and middle schools involved with the UK STEM Camp run out of the College of Education sent approximately 200 students to engage in activities with the Department of Biology. The STEM Camp (https://education.uky.edu/stem/camp/) has been running since 2010, and Biology professor Dr. Robin Cooper and his students have been involved with it for a number of years.
Sumanth Manohar, Biology Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Receives the 2023-2024 Knights Templar Eye Foundation’s Career Starter Research Grant
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is dedicated to funding research into the prevention and treatment of sight threatening diseases in children. Each year, the foundation invites proposals for funding of research related to pediatric ocular disorders. Dr. Sumanth Manohar, a postdoctoral research scholar working in the lab of Dr. Ann Morris in UK’s Department of Biology, was one of 25 scientists selected to receive this funding in 2023-2024.
Click here for more information about Dr. Sarah Tishkoff.
Africa is thought to be the ancestral homeland of all modern human populations. It is also a region of tremendous cultural, linguistic, climatic, and genetic diversity. Despite the important role that African populations have played in human history, they remain one of the most underrepresented groups in human genomics studies. A comprehensive knowledge of patterns of variation in African genomes is critical for a deeper understanding of human genomic diversity, the identification of functionally important genetic variation, the genetic basis of adaptation to diverse environments and diets, and for reconstructing modern human origins. African populations practice diverse subsistence patterns (hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, agriculturalists, and agro-pastoralists) and live in diverse environments with differing pathogen exposure (tropical forest, savannah, coastal, desert, low altitude, and high altitude) and, therefore, are likely to have experienced local adaptation. In this talk I will discuss results of analyses of genome-scale genetic variation in geographically, linguistically, and ethnically diverse African populations in order to reconstruct human evolutionary history in Africa, African and African American ancestry, as well as the genetic basis of adaption to diverse environments.
601 Seminar | "Long-distance Relationships in the Control of Gene Regulation During Development, Disease, and Evolution"
PhD from Université Paris 6 (France)
Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (2006-2015) (Heidelberg, Germany)
Head of Research Unit at the Institut Pasteur (2015-2019) (Paris, France)
Professor, The University of Chicago (2019-.)
The mechanisms that regulate the efficiency and specificity of interactions between distant genes and cis-regulatory elements such as enhancers play a central role in shaping the specific regulatory programs that control cell fate and identity. In particular, the (epi)genetic elements that organize the 3D folding of the genome in specific loops and domains have emerged as key determinants of this process. I will discuss our current views on how 3D genome architecture is organized, how it influences gene regulatory interactions and illustrate how alterations of the mechanisms and elements that organize genomes in 3D could contribute to genomic disorders and genome evolution.