Philadelphia Harper Lecture: Secrets Genomes Tell Us

Featuring Hunt Willard

In 1953 Francis Crick declared DNA the “secret of life.” So simple in its symmetry. Beautiful. But the closer we look, the more we realize that we have barely begun to understand the complexities and the wonder of what Nature has done with this simple and beautiful chemical.

In this Philadelphia Harper Lecture, geneticist Hunt Willard takes you through the challenge and the allure of our ability to read genomes of different species—large or small, consisting of a single cell or many trillions of cells, capable of something so barely perceptible as to be hardly recognizable as life or capable of extraordinary acts of artistry, empathy, and calculation.

How does one simple and beautiful chemical achieve all this?

How does it manage to respond to challenges and threats, ranging from predation to climate change?

And how might wethe most sentient species of alllearn from these “secrets” to benefit life and address some of the most pressing questions of our time?


Event Details
6:00–6:30 p.m. Registration and networking
6:30–7:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion
7:30–8:00 p.m. Reception

$10/recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for Class of 2016 UChicago alumni
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies

Discounted valet parking is available for $20.

Featured Faculty
A human geneticist by training, Huntington Willard has spent his career exploring the genetics, genomics, and epigenetics of complex species--including humans--and their genomes. His work now takes advantage of the wealth of species, genomes, and behaviors to be found among marine organisms. He is Professor of Human Genetics and President and Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.


Event Contact
Tori Luke
Staff Liaison