You’re invited: Genomics of Non-model Organisms

I’m on the student/postdoc-lead organizing committee for the following symposium. If the topic sounds appealing and you’re near Seattle, come check it out! As a warning, the talks won’t be tailored for a totally layman audience, but if you have some biology background or just passionate interest, it should be really great!

2012 Genome Training Grant Symposium:
“The Genomics of Non-Model Organisms”
Monday, June 11, 2012

1:00PM to 5:15PM
South Foege Auditorium (S060) on the University of Washington’s Seattle Campus
No registration or fee

Schedule and speakers:

  • 1:00-2:00PM: panel discussion with our speakers
  • 2:00-3:00PM: Cheryl Hayashi (University of California, Riverside)
    Molecular characterization and evolution of spider silk proteins
  • 3:00-3:15PM: break w/ coffee and snacks
  • 3:15-4:15PM: Katie Peichel (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
    Genetics of adaptation, reproductive isolation, and speciation in stickleback fishes
  • 4:15-5:15PM: Jay Storz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
    Natural variation and genomic architecture of high altitude physiological adaptation in birds and mammals

If you know anyone who may be interested, please invite them! We want a great crowd for our speakers.


  1. Eric RoM says

    Is that “non-model” or “non-modal”???

    If I don’t know, does that mean I should skip the talk? :(

  2. amenhotepstein says

    It’s “model”. Model organisms are those commonly used in biomedical research – Drosophila, Xenopus, zebrafish, mouse, etc.

    Non-model organisms are those that are a wee bit less popular (but no less cool), like spiders.

  3. lpetrich says

    That should be interesting. I once saw an article on model systems suggesting that what makes them convenient model systems can make them very unrepresentative — they may have gotten optimized for great growth speed, for instance. For instance, fruit flies lay down their segments all at once, while the ancestral mode for arthropods is to grow new segments one by one at the animal’s rear end. Annelids and vertebrates also do that.

    That aside, there are lots of features that may be easy to study with genomic and proteomic methods, like venom composition and evolution. Not just snake venom, but also bee and wasp venom, spider venom, scorpion venom, centipede venom, jellyfish venom, etc. Cheryl Hayashi’s spider-silk work fits very well.

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