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Florida Genetics 2014: Exploring food security, microbiomes, genomes and traits

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – From horse colors and domestic dog traits to type I diabetes and antibiotics, the Florida Genetics 2014 Symposium exhibits the diversity of genetics research currently happening at the University of Florida.

Now in its 10th year, the Florida Genetics 2014 Symposium showcases discoveries from leading genetics and genomics researchers from the University of Florida and across the country. Held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 29 and 30, the event is free and open to the public.

Hosted by the University of Florida Genetics Institute, most events are held at the Cancer & Genetics Research Complex, where genetics researchers, students and industry leaders will gather for two days of presentations, research sessions and networking.

The first day is capped by keynote speaker, Roger N. Beachy, founding Executive Director of the World Food Center at the University of California, Davis, whose talk addresses the role of science and technology in world food and nutrition security. The keynote address will take place at the UF Health Professions, Nursing & Pharmacy building (HPNP) on Wednesday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, October 29, opening remarks begin at 1 p.m. with presentations throughout the day. The symposium continues at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 30, with presenters scheduled until late afternoon. Speakers will present and discuss a range of genetics and genomics topics, organized into three focused sessions: Genetics and Food Security, Microbiomes, and Genomes to Phenotypes. Additionally, more than 140 students will present their research and findings during two poster presentation sessions.

Complete list of speakers:

Genetics & Food Security

  • Thomas Mitchell-Olds, PhD – Duke University – “Selection on the Genes that Control Complex Traits”
  • William A. Petri, PhD – University of Virginia – “The genetics of malnutrition and its impact on child development and vaccination”

Genomes to Phenotypes

  • Elaine Ostrander, PhD – National Genome Research Institute – “Genetics of Complex Traits in the Domestic Dog”
  • Samantha Brooks, PhD – University of Florida – cialiscouponcard “Galloping into the future: genomics in equine research”
  • Eve Wurtele, PhD – Iowa State University – “Orphan genes of plants”
  • Brad Barbazuk, PhD – University of Florida – “The Amborella Genome Sequence: A reference for the evolution of flowering plants”


  • Cameron Currie, PhD?- University of Wisconsin, Madison – “Ants, Agriculture, and Antibiotics”
  • Graciela Lorca, PhD?- University of Florida – “Lactobacillus johnsonii N6.2-mediated mechanism in mitigation of type I diabetes onset”
  • Joerg Graf, PhD?- University of Connecticut – “Metagenomic and Metatranscriptomic Analysis of the Medicinal Leech Gut Microbiota”
  • Gary P Wang, MD, PhD – University of Florida – “Alterations in Gut Microbiome in Clostridium difficile Infection”

Hosted by the University of Florida Genetics Institute, an interdisciplinary organization leading the state of Florida in genetic discovery, the symposium is supported by the many colleges and departments that represent diverse institute faculty. Top sponsors this year include the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS), Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR), College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

For a full schedule and list of speakers, visit or download the event app at Registration is free and open until October 24.