Presentation by Professor Simon Foote
Clarence Senior Citizens Centre 17 Alma St Bellerive.
Tuesday, 6th March 2012 Commencing 7.30 pm until 9.30 pm
AGM followed by lecture
About the Speaker
Professor Foote is the 2011 R M Johnston Memorial Medallist
Brief Abstract of the Talk
For several decades genetics, and in particular human genetics has been tarred with the brush of clinical irrelevance. While eminently successful in identifying genes for inherited disease, these diseases are often very rare and almost invariably the identification of the causative gene has not led to any useful treatment. Even with the advent of the new DNA sequencing and genotyping technologies, the genes that are being discovered contribute a very small percentage of the total genetic contribution to disease. While I believe that this work is very important, this is not a widely-held view at present. However, we have been using genetics to solve problems in human disease by proxy. We use the mouse to identify mutant genes that subvert the course of a disease process. We then identity the genes responsible for the “cure” of the disease to develop new drugs. The work of my group, located initially at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, then the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, and very recently, the Australian School of Advanced Medicine at Macquarie University have used this approach to find new cures for malaria.