Thursday, May 9, 2013
Behavioral Social Neuroscience Seminar
Social Regulation of Human Gene Expression
Steve Cole, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine
Relationships between genes and human behavior have historically been viewed as a one-way street, with genes in control. Recent analyses have challenged this view by discovering broad alterations in the expression of human genes as a function of differing socio-environmental conditions. This overview will summarize the developing field of social genomics, and its efforts to identify the types of genes subject to social regulation, the biological signaling pathways mediating those effects, and the genetic polymorphisms that modulate their individual influence. This approach provides a concrete molecular perspective on how external social and cultural processes can interact with the human genome to shape individual trajectories of health, development, and behavior.