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Press Release: Dr. Carlos Bustamante Lecture on Mexican Genetic Diversity

CDB talk flyer
From Adriana Lopez and Victoria De Alba, San Francisco Mexican Museum
Aug 5 2015

Posted In:

Faculty

For Immediate Release

The Mexican Museum to Host Talk by Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante, Renowned Professor of Genetics at Stanford University

Program on August 17 highlights surprising new research on ethnic diversity of Mexico’s people

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – August 5, 2015 – The Mexican Museum (TMM) will host a special presentation on August 17, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, by Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante, renowned Professor of Genetics and Co-Founding Director of the Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics at Stanford University. As part of TMM’s public lecture series, the presentation highlights Dr. Bustamante’s groundbreaking research on the genetic diversity found in Mexico’s population. TMM, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the premier West Coast museum of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latin American and Latino art, culture and heritage. The talk is free and open to the public.

“We are honored that Dr. Bustamante has chosen The Mexican Museum as a venue to discuss his groundbreaking research on genetic diversity in Mexico,” said Andrew Kluger, Board Chair of The Mexican Museum.

Although his work in genetics has spanned many subjects, Dr. Bustamante will focus on how new information on ethnic genetic diversity can directly impact the field of medicine. With the vast majority of past genetics research concentrated primarily on European populations, his emphasis on Hispanic and Indigenous genetic variation in the Americas is raising new questions about clinical practices and medical treatments for these specific populations.

“While commonly used, the current tendency to treat Mexicans and Latinos as a homogenous group is far from accurate in biological terms,” said Dr. Andres Moreno-Estrada, former Research Associate with Professor Bustamante and now Principal Investigator at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Mexico. “When we talk about Mexico, most people recognize its incredible cultural, archaeological, and ethnic diversity. But we were not expecting to find, by analyzing its genetic diversity, that some indigenous groups are as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians and that such differences are reflected in functional traits of biomedical importance across the country.” Dr. Bustamante and Dr. Moreno,  along with colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute for Genomic Medicine in Mexico, led the largest, most comprehensive study on Mexican genomic diversity, recently published in the June 2014 issue of Science Magazine.

Dr. Bustamante’s projects on Latino diversity are continent-wide and include: studying the Tarahumara in Northwest Mexico, where this particular native population locally adapted as long distance runners; recent archaeological expeditions in Peru, where he was able to extract DNA samples from remains dating back to the Incan Empire; and several collaborations on population genomics with various institutions, including, among others, the University of Chile, the University of Puerto Rico, and the University of California, San Francisco.

He has also had a distinguished career as a teacher, first at Cornell University, where, in 2008, he became a full Professor in the Departments of Statistical Sciences, Biological Statistics, and Computational Biology. Since 2010, Dr. Bustamante has been on the faculty of Stanford University’s School of Medicine, where he co-founded the Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics and started the Bustamante Lab, where he works closely with talented postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, staff scientists, and consulting professors on a daily basis.

Dr. Bustamante has received multiple honors and awards over the years, including a Marshall-Sherfield Fellowship, the Sloan Research Fellowship, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. He has advised numerous government bodies, nonprofits, and companies on issues related to genetics and human populations, including Ancestry.com, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the Carlos Slim Foundation. He is currently one of the principle investigators of the recently announced $25M ClinGen project to build the country’s National Database of Clinically Relevant Genomic Variants.

Throughout the year, The Mexican Museum hosts lectures presented by leading curators and scholars on important topics including art history, contemporary art, and anthropology.

TMM is located at the Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco. For more information, please call: (415) 202-9700.

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About The Mexican Museum: 

Founded by the well-known San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez in 1975 in the heart of the Mission District, The Mexican Museum is located at the Fort Mason Center. It is the realization of his vision to present the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican American people. Today, the museum’s vision has expanded to include the full scope of the Mexican, Chicano, and Latino experience – including the arts, history, and heritage of their respective cultures.

In 2012, The Mexican Museum became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The Museum joins over 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama that are in association with the Smithsonian.  The Mexican Museum currently has a permanent collection of more than 16,500 objects reflecting Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Mexican-American, Latin American, Latino, and Chicano art.  

The Mexican Museum, open Thursday - Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., is located at the Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, in San Francisco. Admission is FREE. The Museum offers a wide variety of programs, including Family Sundays, exhibitions, special events, lectures, and public programming throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit: http://www.mexicanmuseum.org or call (415) 202-9700. The Mexican Museum is currently preparing for the construction of its permanent home in the heart of the Yerba Buena Gardens Art District, which is expected to open in 2018. 

 

About Stanford’s Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics:

The Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics (CEHG) was launched in 2012 by Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Medicine. Directed by Carlos D. Bustamante, Professor of Genetics, and Marcus Feldman, the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Center works at the forefront of the information age of genomics to improve human well-being and promote global health, agriculture, and biotechnology. Faculty, students, and scholars from Stanford’s seven schools collaborate on interdisciplinary research projects that support this mission and the computational analysis of genomic data. For more information about CEHG, please visit:https://cehg.stanford.edu/about/about-us

 

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Media Contacts:

Victoria Sanchez De Alba

De Alba Communications

(650) 270-7810 / victoria@dealba.net

 

Katie M. Kanagawa

Bustamante Lab and CEHG

Stanford University

(650)497-4382 / kkanagaw@stanford.edu