Virtual Event: Euan Angus Ashley
The Genome Odyssey:
Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them
in conversation with SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE
March 22, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome EUAN ANGUS ASHLEY—professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University—for a discussion of his latest book, The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them. He will be joined in conversation by SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE, pioneering physician and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Genome Odyssey on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Genome Odyssey
Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, the price of genome sequencing has dropped at a staggering rate. It’s as if the price of a Ferrari went from $350,000 to a mere forty cents. Through breakthroughs made by Dr. Ashley’s team at Stanford and other dedicated groups around the world, analyzing the human genome has decreased from a heroic multibillion dollar effort to a single clinical test costing less than $1,000.
For the first time we have within our grasp the ability to predict our genetic future, to diagnose and prevent disease before it begins, and to decode what it really means to be human.
In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley details the medicine behind genome sequencing with clarity and accessibility. More than that, with passion for his subject and compassion for his patients, he introduces readers to the dynamic group of researchers and doctor detectives who hunt for answers, and to the pioneering patients who open up their lives to the medical community during their search for diagnoses and cures.
He describes how he led the team that was the first to analyze and interpret a complete human genome, how they broke genome speed records to diagnose and treat a newborn baby girl whose heart stopped five times on the first day of her life, and how they found a boy with tumors growing inside his heart and traced the cause to a missing piece of his genome.
These patients inspire Dr. Ashley and his team as they work to expand the boundaries of our medical capabilities and to envision a future where genome sequencing is available for all, where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level, and where our medical system as we know it has been completely revolutionized.
Praise for The Genome Odyssey
“This wonderful page-turner captures the excitement, peril, wonder and anticipation of the so-called “genomics” era—the era that has begun us to allow us to sequence the entirety of DNA carried within our bodies, and to understand the functions of parts of this genome. Dr Ashley, one of the pioneers of gene sequencing technologies, writes with authority, elegance and simplicity to enable an in-depth understanding of the most exciting scientific developments of our times. Every curious reader must read this book.” —Siddhartha Mukherjee, bestselling author of The Emperor of Maladies
“The Genome Odyssey is destined to be a landmark narrative in the canon of modern science. Like Ulysses, Ashley has had a front row seat on this journey by virtue of his own scientific work which has been instrumental in bringing us to this place of great precision in diagnosis. Ashley's prose is brilliant and makes for compelling reading." —Abraham Verghese, bestselling author of Cutting for Stone, Professor and Senior Associate Chair of Internal Medicine, Stanford University
"Cracking the genome's code to solve medical mysteries requires a special kind of detective work, and The Genome Odyssey walks us through the most nerve-wracking, heart-in-your-throat cases to show us how it's done. With a storyteller's flair and a doctor's devotion, Euan Ashley explains a host of astonishing breakthroughs, each accomplished with human lives on the line. Taken together, his and his colleagues' work will leave you breathless." —Robert Kolker, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.
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