Plenary Lecture

Genomewide Approaches for Recostruction of Origin and Admixture of Contemporary European Populations

Professor Bela Melegh
University of Pécs
Department of Medical Genetics
Pécs, Hungary

Abstract: Reconstruction of the orgin, combined with the identification of admixture events in the history of a population by using robust genomewide data are rewarding new challenges of the population genetics. Using array or NGS data insights of Europe living humans could be tracked back to 7-8,000 years from now. The data show, that contrary to the previous belief, the present-day Europeans derive from at least three highly differentiated populations: west European hunter-gatherers, ancient north Eurasians, and early European farmers, who were mainly of Near Eastern origin but also harboured west European hunter-gatherer related ancestry. Menwhile, int he 7-8,000 years elapsed later the profile of the Europe leving people changed a lot. As the biobank data are accumulated from the contemporary Europeans, the analysis approaches also help us to understand also the sturture and the origin of the European populations, including the relatively closed populations, like the Roma (Gipsy) people.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Bela Melegh, MD, PhD, DSc, graduated at the University of Pecs in 1978; he is professor of medical genetics, pediatrics, and laboratory medicine, head of the Department of Medical Genetics, University of Pecs, Hungary. He obtained his PhD (1991) and DSc (1999) degrees at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. His long-term scientific interest includes the investigation of selected neuromuscular and neurogenetic diseases, population genetics, and reconstructing origin of populations. His laboratory is the leading molecular diagnostic center in Hungary, which offers also diagnostic platform for several genetic and genomic conditions. He is a co-leader of the national biobank consortium; using the local significant biobank collections his group performs population genetic research also on many rare and common disease entities. He is the head of the National Rare Disease Research Coordinating Center. He has National Board Exam qualification in Pediatrics, Laboratory medicine, Clinical Genetics, and Laboratory genetics. Dr. Melegh actively involved in the undergraduate and postgraduate training of medical doctors and biologists, was formerly vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine in one round of service. He is currently the president of Hungarian Society of Human Genetics, he was board member of European Society of Human Genetics (2010-15), president of the Medical Branch of the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG), president of the Section of Clinical Genetics of the UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists), board member of the UDNI (Undiagnosed Disease Network International). He is the president of the Multidisciplinary Joint Committee of the Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases (MJC RUD). Dr. Melegh has been involved in several domestic research grants, has contributed to several EU grants and action projects; he has authored over 300 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters.

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