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Human evolution, migration and history revealed by genetics, immunity and infection









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Organised by Professor Danny Altmann, Dr Francois Balloux and Dr Rosemary Boyton

This meeting offers a journey from molecules to history, bringing together geneticists, immunologists, anthropologists and historians. Infection has been the most potent evolutionary force in human history, eliminating genes offering poor resistance and selecting for new mutations conferring protection against a threat. Can genetics help us understand natural selection, human evolution and migration over the past 70,000 years?

Download the programme here

The proceedings of this meeting have been published in an issue of Philosophical Transactions B.

Biographies and audio recordings are available below.

Event organisers

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Schedule of talks

Session 1

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Professor Danny Altmann, Imperial College London, UK

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Out-of-Africa, the peopling of continents & islands: tracing uniparental gene trees across the map

Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, School of Anthropology and Museum Enthnography, University of Oxford, UK

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Identifying genetic traces of historical expansions

Professor Mark Jobling, University of Leicester, UK

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African origins - the morphological and behavioural evidence of early humans in Africa

Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr, University of Cambridge, UK

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Session 2

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Primate-specific evolution of NK cell receptor recognition of MHC class I

Professor Peter Parham FRS, Stanford University, USA

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Tracking of Human Migrations by the analysis of the distribution of HLA alleles, lineages and haplotypes in closed and open populations

Professor Marcelo Fernández-Viña, Stanford University, USA

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The Polynesian gene pool: An early contribution by Amerindians to Easter Island

Professor Erik Thorsby, University of Oslo, Norway

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Role of migration, demography and natural selection in the molecular evolution of the HLA polymorphism in human populations

Professor Alicia Sanchez-Mazas, University of Geneva, Switzerland

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Session 3

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Case-control studies of infectious disease susceptibility

Professor Adrian Hill, University of Oxford, UK

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Evolutionary forces in human tuberculosis

Dr Sebastien Gagneux, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

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Pinpointing signals of natural selection to investigate causal variants in selective sweeps

Dr Kristian Andersen, Harvard University, USA

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Early peopling of the New World

Professor Eske Willerslev, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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Session 4

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Insights from genomic comparisons of genetically monomorphic bacterial pathogens

Professor Mark Achtman FRS, University of Warwick, UK

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Human population structure and the adaptive response to pathogen-induced selection pressures

Professor John Novembre, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

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Human skin pigmentation, migration, and disease susceptibility

Professor Nina Jablonski, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

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Host genetics and population structure effects on parasitic diseases

Dr Sarah Williams-Blangero, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, USA

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Human evolution, migration and history revealed by genetics, immunity and infection Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Danny Altmann, Dr Francois Balloux and Dr Rosemary Boyton. The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK
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