Inherited variation in the human genome has a critical, but largely uncharacterized role in human disease. The advent of genome-wide variation resources such as the HapMap opens a new era in population genetics, offering an unprecedented opportunity to investigate evolutionary forces that have shaped variation in natural populations. Population-based genome variation in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) haplotypes can be informative in dissecting the biology of health disparities in the African Diaspora. The human genome project (HGP) has accelerated understanding of the enormous variability among different people in susceptibility to the same disease and therapeutic intervention, allowing patients to receive medical care on a fine-tuned, "made to measure", personalized basis. Along with the knowledge explosion generated in the aftermath of the HGP have come advances in information systems and technologies in the USA and many other countries. This seminar relates knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project and research on human genome sequence variation to research strategies for achieving the U.S. Public Health Service goals of "Healthy People 2010" which encompass disease prevention, health promotion, and the elimination of health disparities.
Malaria infects hundreds of millions each year, and kills millions,mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa. The same person who showed that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes also developed the first mathematical model of malaria transmission, in 1910, and did so specifically to clarify questions in research and control. Models can be useful tools in addressing a wide range of challenges in malaria today, provided the modeler can develop the appropriate connections between mathematics, biology and other disciplines and perspectives involved. Dr. McKenzie will discuss several of his own efforts to develop these connections, and the corresponding models.