Complex Disease Colloquium

Problems in the Biology of Complex Diseases



Our Weekly Colloquium Spring 2022 Schedule is listed below. We meet live and online on Fridays at 9:00-10:50 am Arizona Time.

Weekly Zoom Link   Upcoming Events Link   Previous Recordings Link

Spring 2022 Schedule

Human complex diseases (CD) such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, are major biomedical challenges, because they are common but difficult to decipher. The complexity of these diseases is reflected by their phenotypic heterogeneity and likely results from intricate interactions among genetic, environmental and developmental factors that modify disease susceptibility and severity. Understanding complex diseases is urgent, because these conditions impose a burden on our society. Yet, this goal cannot be achieved by isolated research disciplines. Rather, it requires a novel paradigm that successfully integrates basic and clinical research across multiple fields and translates mechanisms into phenotypes and phenotypes into treatments. This novel paradigm provides the underpinning for this Colloquium. 

The Colloquium features speakers who are nationally and internationally renowned for their work on environmental biology, immunological and clinical phenotyping, microbiome, developmental biology, epigenetics, genetic epidemiology, population genetics, functional genomics of human and animal models. The theme and vision of the Colloquium are unique in that the discussion focuses particularly on the biological components shared by ostensibly distinct complex diseases (for instance, asthma, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases). The underlying assumption, supported by much emerging evidence, is that these shared components are features that define the mechanistic architecture of complex diseases as a group. The goal of the Colloquium is to provide a platform that will catalyze broad, expert discussions on these foundational topics, thereby fostering the emergence of a new experimental and conceptual paradigm in complex disease biology.  

By the way, over half of the speakers featured in our 2022 Colloquium come from top-rated national and international institutions and are driving their fields. Thus, albeit virtual, the 2022 Colloquium will definitely be exciting. 

Previous Colloquium Recordings


Donata Vercelli, MD
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Associate Director, Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center
Director, Arizona Center for the Biology of Complex Diseases
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Genetics GIDP
January 14 — Why are complex diseases complex?
Deborah A. Meyers, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Co-Chief, Division of Genetics, Genomics and Precision Medicine, UA Department of Medicine
Co-Director, Division of Pharmacogenomics, UA Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine
January 21 — So you had your genome sequenced: What will you learn?


Eugene R. Bleecker, MD
Professor of Medicine
Co-Chief, Division of Genetics, Genomics and Precision Medicine, UA Department of Medicine
Co-Director, Division of Pharmacogenomics, UA Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine
January 28 — Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine:"The Asthma Model"
Carole Ober, PhD
Department of Human Genetics
University of Chicago
February 4 — Revealing Polygenic Pleiotrophy Using Genetic Risk Scores for Asthma
Marcelo Nobrega
Department of Human Genetics
University of Chicago
February 11 — Regulatory Variants and the Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits
Dean Billheimer
Statistics Consulting Laboratory
BIO5 Institute
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
February 18 — To P or not to P?
Anthony Bosco
Associate Professor, Immunobiology
Associate Research Scientist
February 25 — Systems Biology Approaches towards Asthma Prevention
Erika von Mutius, MD MSc
Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany
Institute for Asthma and Allergey Prevention
Helmholtz Centre Munich
March 4 — Systems Biology Approaches towards Asthma Prevention
Greg Caporaso, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Arizona Univeristy
March 25 — Toward Cancer Microbiome Multi-Omics Analysis with QIIME 2
Jack Gilbert, PhD
Department of Pediatrics
University of California San Diego
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
April 1 — The Microbiome in the Built Environment
Talal Chatila, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
April 8 — Immune Regulation in Complex Lung Disease Pathogenesis
Susan Lynch, PhD
Department of Medicine - Gastroenterology
University of California San Fransciso
April 15 — Mining the Human Microbiome for Pathogenic Mechanism and Novel Therapies
Darren Cusanovich, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine
University of Arizona
April 22 — The Single Cell Perspective on Complex Diseases

For further information, please contact Donata Vercelli, MD, Colloquium Organizer.