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Free public lecture explores what our DNA can – and can’t – tell us

Prof Mehmet Dorak Thursday 12 May 2016

Members of the public are invited to a free lecture which will explain what we can – and can’t – learn about ourselves from investigations into our DNA.

Professor Mehmet Dorak will present his Inaugural Professorial Lecture “what does your DNA say about you?” at 5.30pm on Wednesday 18th May in the Senate Room at the University’s Hope Park campus.

He will demonstrate how we assume too often that our DNA is responsible for everything about us, and argue that this can impact on the way science develops medicines. Instead, he will say, we should also take into account other factors when designing precision medicine, population screening and health policy.

Professor Dorak said: "Genetic analysis not only provides insight into disease risk, but also indicates correlations with personal traits. Various traits, for instance height, weight and IQ score have some degree of genetic background, but without genetic determinism.

“Confusion may arise from the misinterpretation of correlations; whether they imply causation, or whether statistical significance corresponds to biological significance.

“This lecture will clarify what the DNA cannot tell us and highlight the advances in genetics which allow inference of certain personal traits, from athletic or musical performance ability to educational attainment. Such correlations may be used for lifestyle modifications and ultimately for precision medicine, but not yet for population screening and health policy decisions."

The lecture formally celebrates Professor Dorak’s appointment as a Health Sciences Professor.

The lecture is open for all to attend. Refreshments will be served on arrival to the Senate Room from 5pm. To confirm your attendance please e-mail:


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