Photos from 2012 Whitehead Colloquium “Disease, Deciphered”

On November 3rd, Whitehead Institute was delighted to host “Disease, Deciphered,” the 18th annual Whitehead Colloquium. This year’s event was an enormous success: more than 130 supporters and friends turned out to hear from scientists about the factors underlying disease susceptibility, tour Whitehead laboratories, and enjoy cocktails and dinner with Whitehead’s world-renowned researchers.

Whitehead Founding Member Gerry Fink and Whitehead Director David Page were this year’s keynote speakers. Gerry’s presentation, “What’s in my genome (and yours) and what isn’t: Uncovering the roots of complex disease,” outlined the difficulties associated with identifying the genetic determinants of complex diseases such as autism. David followed with an address entitled “Sex and disease (but not what you think): Why are men and women at risk for different diseases?” Long known as a pioneer in reproductive genetics, David discussed his vision for a novel approach to exploring the gender-based determinants of disease susceptibility and severity.

After keynote presentations, attendees then divided into small groups for a quintessential Whitehead Colloquium experience: lunch and one-on-one discussions with a researcher of their choosing, followed by personal tours and demonstrations in Whitehead’s laboratories. The daylong program concluded with cocktails in the library, set to a jazz trio, and a dinner with Whitehead Institute faculty members.

The Whitehead Colloquium is held each November at the Institute in Cambridge. If you missed this year’s event, but would like to learn more about other Whitehead events including next year’s Colloquium, we encourage you to contact Lauren Gilbert at (617) 258-5489 or lgilbert@wi.mit.edu for additional information.

Disease, Deciphered

The 2012 Whitehead Colloquium was entitled “Disease, Deciphered”

Vivian Day and John McBride

Early arrivers talked and networked with fellow attendees before the presentations began. Here, Vivian Day talks with John McBride

John McCormick and Pedram Salimpour

John McCormick (right) talks with Pedram Salimpour

Gerry Fink

Whitehead Founding Member Gerry Fink’s presentation, “What’s in my genome (and yours) and what isn’t: Uncovering the roots of complex disease,” outlined the difficulties associated with identifying the genetic determinants of complex diseases such as autism

Yaniv Erlich and Gerry Fink

Gerry concluded his presentation by inviting Whitehead Fellow Yaniv Erlich to discuss one of his research projects—known as the lobSTR algorithm—aimed at identifying the genetic determinants of complex diseases

David Page at the 2012 Whitehead Colloquium

Whitehead Director David Page followed with an address entitled “Sex and disease (but not what you think): Why are men and women at risk for different diseases?” Long known as a pioneer in reproductive genetics, David discussed his vision for a novel approach to exploring the gender-based determinants of disease susceptibility and severity

David Page

David explains that it’s quite likely that genes on the X and Y chromosomes are playing roles in the body that reach far beyond the reproductive tract

Inge Weinberg, Arnie Weinberg and Beth Edwards

Inge Weinberg, Arnie Weinberg and Beth Edwards enjoy conversation over lunch

David Bartel

Attendees then divided into small groups for discussion and lab tours with a researcher of their choosing. Here, Whitehead Member David Bartel discusses the silencing of disease-causing genes

Joanna Kaplanis

Whitehead scientist and Erlich-lab member Joanna Kaplanis presents her research to lab tour participants

Morgan Moeglein

A graduate student in the Gehring lab, Morgan Moeglein discusses her studies of epigenetics in plants

Dina Esposito

Dina Esposito, a member of the Erlich lab, leads a laboratory tour

Frank LoGerfo and Kristin Larkin

Attendees enjoyed cocktails in the library, set to a jazz trio. Here, Frank LoGerfo and Kristin Larkin

Bob Forrester, Marthe Forrester and Piyush Gupta

Bob and Marthe Forrester with Whitehead Member Piyush Gupta

Iain Cheeseman

Whitehead Member Iain Cheeseman talks with guests over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

Joel Kassimir and Jason Kassimir

Joel Kassimir with his son Jason Kassimir

George McCully, Mary Gehring and Hillel Bachrach

George McCully, Whitehead Member Mary Gehring and Hillel Bachrach (left to right)

avid Page, Herman Suit, Joan Suit, Carol Tobin and Arthur Brill

Director David Page, Herman Suit, Joan Suit, Carol Tobin and Arthur Brill (left to right)

Skip Miller, Terry Orr-Weaver, and Lyerka Miller

Skip Miller, Whitehead Member Terry Orr-Weaver, and Lyerka Miller (left to right)

Gerry Fink

Whitehead Founding Member Gerry Fink converses with Colloquium attendees

Dennis Shapiro, Susan Shapiro and Len Polaner

Dennis Shapiro, Susan Shapiro and Len Polaner (left to right)

Rudolf Jaensich and Hillel Bachrach

Whitehead Member Rudolf Jaensich (left) talks with Hillel Bachrach

Pedram Salimpour

After dinner, Los Angeles-based physician Pedram Salimpour closed with a heartfelt speech about his own passion for Whitehead Institute