25 August 2010

The Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics

Unique School of Human Genomics is renamed in a tribute to its founder

Professor Leena Peltonen. The 2010 Wellcome Trust School of Human Genomics was this week renamed as a tribute to its founder, Leena Peltonen, who, sadly, died in March 2010.

Professor Leena Peltonen. The 2010 Wellcome Trust School of Human Genomics was this week renamed as a tribute to its founder, Leena Peltonen, who, sadly, died in March 2010.

zoom

Leading geneticist Leena Peltonen was committed to nurturing medical geneticists of the future: In 2007, she founded the Wellcome Trust School of Human Genomics. She saw the School as a unique opportunity to bring together the current generation and future stars in human genetics to provide a forum where knowledge is shared, and where the senior PhD students can learn and gain inspiration from current scientific leaders. Sadly, Leena died in March 2010

Her contribution is marked this week as the 2010 Wellcome Trust School of Human Genomics is renamed as a tribute to its founder Leena. The event takes place this week at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, under the new name, the 'Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics'.

The 2010 course, which is part of the Wellcome Trust Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences programme, features a list of prominent speakers, including Jim Lupski from Baylor College of Medicine, Mark McCarthy from The University of Oxford, Aravinda Chakravati from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Institute of Genetic Medicine and Richard Gibbs from Baylor College of Medicine.

"The reputation and expertise of those contributing to this year's School of Human Genomics is a testament to the vision that so excited Leena three years ago," says Manolis Dermitzakis, from the University of Geneva and previously at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, organiser and co-founder of the Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics. "Our speakers are among the brightest minds in the field - and it is surely by bringing together two generations of researchers in this way that we can be confident that the future of human genetics will be very bright indeed."

The 2010 Leena Peltonen School of Human Genomics lasts four days and draws students and researchers from around the world. It strives to have more than one teacher per two students.

"To be invited to talk at this unique event is an honour," says Richard Gibbs, from Baylor College of Medicine, who presented his talk, 'The extent and implications of rare genetic variation in humans', on Tuesday 24 August 2010. "These four days are really as enlightening for us as they are for the PhD students in attendance. They bring their stories, their research and their enthusiastic questioning."

" It is surely by bringing together two generations of researchers in this way that we can be confident that the future of human genetics will be very bright indeed. "

Professor Manolis Dermitzakis

Since its inception in 2007, the School of Human Genomics become hugely popular and has seen over 80 senior PhD students from the best institutions in the world pass through its doors, with many more applying for the course. The vast majority of them have moved on to excellent post-doc opportunities.

"There is nothing more inspiring than the opportunity to hear from those at the very cutting edge of research," says Jessica Nordlund, who is attending this years' course. "The variety of activities, from presentations from tutors and students to discussion forums and one-to-one meetings, means that you are not just learning from research leaders, you are immersed in the world of cutting edge research in human genetics."

As well as introducing a new title for the course, the School of Human Genomics has this week also unveiled a new logo. The illustration, which features a stiletto shoe with a double helix heel, celebrates the marriage of style and science that was so unique to Leena and so admired by all her friends and colleagues.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which receives the majority of its funding from the Wellcome Trust, was founded in 1992. The Institute is responsible for the completion of the sequence of approximately one-third of the human genome as well as genomes of model organisms and more than 90 pathogen genomes. In October 2006, new funding was awarded by the Wellcome Trust to exploit the wealth of genome data now available to answer important questions about health and disease.

Websites

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

Website

Contact the Press Office

Don Powell Media and Public Relations Manager
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambs, CB10 1SA, UK

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 928
Mobile +44 (0)7753 775 397
Fax +44 (0)1223 494 919
Email press.office@sanger.ac.uk

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/yuivysx9