The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel's 7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference "Molecular Evolution", opened today at the Congress Center in Basel. This year, the conference celebrates the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his major work, "On the Origin of the Species".
Invited speakers include leading experts in evolutionary and computational biology:
Walter J. Gehring, opening the conference with a keynote lecture, "Evolution of Eyes and Photoreceptors", is Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, President of the International Society for Developmental Biologists and a member of the National Academy of the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Sweden. The identification of PAX6 as a master control gene for eye development is one of the outstanding achievements of Prof. Gehring and his collaborators. The demonstration that targeted expression of one and the same master control gene, that is, Pax6 can induce the formation of ectopic eyes in both insects and vertebrates, necessitates a reconsideration of the dogma of a polyphyletic origin of the various eye types in all the animal phyla. Prof. Gehring is recipient of the Kyoto Prize for Basic Science (2000) and the Balzan Prize for Developmental Biology (2002). He and his group also discovered the homeobox, a DNA segment characteristic for homeotic genes which is present in arthropods and their ancestors and also in vertebrates including man.
Derek Smith, Professor of Infectious Disease Informatics, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK, will present on "The antigenic evolution of influenza viruses". He will describe the study of influenza virus evolution, required for influenza vaccine strain selection. Derek is one of the leading scientists studying the current H1N1 flue outbreak. His methods are routinely used to analyze the g
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Swiss Institute of Bioinoformatics