November 26, 2014  

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Grimes Distinguished Lecture Series to feature Dr. Karen Nelson on April 22

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Dr. Karen Nelson

A free seminar by a renowned scientist in the field of metagenomics is set for 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 22, in the Caylor Auditorium at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. The presentation will be the fifth in the Grimes Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Featured speaker is Dr. Karen Nelson, distinguished scientist and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute where she has worked for the past 16 years.  Prior to her current position as president, she held various other positions at the Institute, including Director of JCVI’s Rockville Campus, and Director of Human Microbiology and Metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at the JCVI.  Her talk is titled “Omics – Insights into Your World and Mine.”

Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her doctorate from Cornell University. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journals Microbial Ecology and Advances in Microbial Ecology. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of BMC Genomics, GigaScience, and the Central European Journal of Biology. She is also a standing member of the NRC Committee on Biodefense, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board of Life Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Nelson has vast experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology and metagenomics. She has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts since joining the JCVI legacy institutes, leading the first human metagenomics study that was published in 2006.

Currently her group is working on metagenomic approaches to study the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions, reference genome sequencing and analysis primarily for the human body, and other -omics studies.

Dr. Jay Grimes, marine microbiology professor in the Department of Coastal Sciences and former GCRL director, and his wife Beverly, have established the Grimes Distinguished Lecturer Series. They are committed to bringing well-known marine scientists to address topics important to Southern Miss students, faculty and the coast community. The series is supported by the Jay and Beverly Grimes development fund through the Southern Miss Foundation.