Professor Ian Jackson, Inaugural Lecture: Marvellous melanocytes
Ian Jackson Inaugural Lecture - first at IGMM: June 2018
On Monday 25 June, Professor Ian Jackson of the MRC Human Genetics Unit gave his inaugural lecture. This was the first inaugural lecture to be hosted at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, and drew a large and varied audience. Over 20 students from 8 different high schools were in attendance, as well as University staff and students and other interested members of the public.
Professor Jackson gave an illuminating engaging lecture around one theme of his career - the genetic basis of pigmentation and hair colour. From the stem cell origin of melanocytes to the gene combinations leading to different pigmentation and hair colour, the audience gained an understanding of the biology behind pigemntation, and why understanding the basis of pigmentation can help us to understand how genes work together to create complex traits. Professor Jackson concluded with some new data on pigmentation from UK Biobank - a collection of genetic and biological samples from 500,000 British people. He highlighted how the UK Biobank resource will be very important to answer questions about human genetics, not only for hair colour but for other traits underlying human health and disease.
The lecture was followed by a drink and canape reception on the sunny IGMM terrace.