About Jamie Henzy
|Life requires an unbroken chain of information transmission, with error, coded in the specific order of the bases of DNA. This information has evolved to allow bacteria to exploit nearly every possible energy source available on the planet, and to bring some of this expertise to eukaryotes in the form of mitochondria and chloroplasts. The information tells one single cell how to use energy to create substance, maintain and replicate its information, and grow and divide into many cells, eventually forming a complex mass of interacting cells that is, say, a concert violinist, or a majestic oak tree.
We now have the ability to see the specific code in a variety of contexts at a finer resolution than ever before. What wrong letters lead to disease? What letters changed as humans and chimps diverged? What coding differences determine which species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2? Or how stem cells develop into specific tissue types? These questions are fascinating not only for contemplating our place in the universe, but for researchers exploring new ways to treat diseases, apply personalized medicine, develop stem cell therapies, and even piece together the migratory history of modern humans.
My goal at Northeastern is to work with my colleagues to offer a genetics program that challenges, inspires, and fully prepares students to participate in this exciting endeavor, whether as researchers, doctors or clinicians, engineers, policy makers, or science writers.