The Compatibility Gene

Thursday 2nd March 2017 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00

Daniel M Davis, Professor of Immunology, Director of Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, Imperial Alumnus

A tiny cluster of our 25,000 genes are disproportionately involved in defining who we are: how we fight disease, how our brains are wired and perhaps even how compatible we are with other people. This is the remarkable 60 year story of the discovery of these genes and traces the revolution in our understanding of our health, our relationships and our individuality.

There are around 25,000 human genes. We each have a similar set of these genes but those that vary the most from person to person are: our compatibility genes.

These few genes, argues Daniel M. Davis, influence which diseases we are susceptible and resistant to, whether our tissue and organs can be used in transplantation, what our chances of successful reproduction are, how our brains are wired, and perhaps even how compatible we are with one another.
In exploring the history of these genes' discovery, and the unfolding of their secrets, Daniel M. Davis seeks an answer to questions of how genetic compatibility affects our relationships, reproduction, medical research and ethics - and, looking to the future, considers the startling possibilities of what our knowledge of these genes might mean for you and me.

Daniel M. Davis is a renowned scientist who became a Professor at Imperial College London aged 35. He earned a PhD in Physics before studying the immune system at Harvard University, and he is now the Director of Research at The University of Manchester's Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research. He has published over 100 academic papers, including articles in Nature, Science, and Scientific American. He has previously won the Oxford University Press Science Writing Prize, and has given numerous interviews for national and international media, including the Times, Guardian, Metro, and National Public Radio (USA).

Davis pioneered the use of many imaging techniques to help visualize key molecular components of an immune response. His work has helped establish new concepts in how immune cells communicate with each other; especially the immune synapse and membrane nanotubes. He currently holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award.

He is also the author of a popular-level science book ' The Compatibility Gene' - the story of the crucial genes that shape our health, our relationships and our individuality.

This book was picked by Bill Bryson as a Guardian Book of the Year.

An elegantly written, unexpectedly gripping account...lab work has rarely been made to seem more interesting or heroic.

Bill Bryson




Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.
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Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

Campus Map reference 33
on the Imperial College London Map