When you are an undergrad in college, it is hard to imagine that the student standing next to you in the lab could one day discover something that profoundly stuns the scientific community -- something like the fact that all cheetahs are each almost genetically identical. Dr. Stephen O’Brien ‘66, one of the world’s foremost authorities on human and evolutionary genetics, started his career at Saint Francis University and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Cornell. He later joined the National Cancer Institute where his specialization in the genetics of a more docile feline, the common house cat, has been invaluable in human disease research.
The Biology department at Saint Francis University is excited to welcome back the 1966 alum to kick-off the Biology Spring Seminar Series beginning in February. Dr. O’Brien and special guest presenters will be meeting with current and prospective Biology students weekly for seven weeks in a comprehensive and timely seminar series titled: “Science and Society Through a Genomic lens.” The seminars will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:15-2:30 pm in Science Center 024. All presentations are open to the public, and community members are encouraged to attend.
The spring seminar series connects alumni and professionals with undergraduates and the community to discuss research and work in genomics. Students learn about cutting edge science, discover career opportunities, and make connections with distinguished scientists. SFU is one of only a few universities where undergraduates have such a unique opportunity.
About Dr. O’Brien
Dr. O’Brien is credited with the discovery of CCR5-D32, the first of twenty human AIDS restriction genes, authored or co-authored over 800 scientific articles, and published the following books: “Tears of the Cheetah and Other Tales from the Genetic Frontier” (St. Martin’s Press, 2003), “Atlas of Mammalian Chromosomes” (Wiley, 2006), and “Genetic Maps - Locus Maps of Complex Genomes” (Cold Spring Harbor Press, 1988-1993).