ISHG 2021

The International Symposium on Human Genetics 2021 – ISHG 2021

Dates: Tuesday, 9 & Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Virtual Conference Platform

This Symposium aims to provide a taster for the ICHG2022, since it was postponed by almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are bringing together exceptional speakers for two sessions on topics that are highly relevant to human geneticists and these discussions will be picked up again at the main meeting in 2022. Each session will last for two hours, one accommodating western time zones and the other eastern time zones.

DAY 1: The shaping of modern human genomes: migration, admixture and ancient genomic introgression
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
3 – 5 pm SAST

Since the emergence of modern man in Africa between 400,000 and 600,000 years ago, evolutionary forces have been shaping the human genome. Studies on the genomes of people living today and some who died thousands of years ago provide clues to our past and we begin to unravel a story of migration, admixture and adaptation. In this session we start with African population genomics, then adaptive signatures and introgression form extinct hominids to the peopling of Asia. .

Speaker Country Suggested Topic
Charles Rotimi & Michele Ramsay (Chairs)  USA / South Africa Significance of the modern human origins and evolutionary processes
Ananyo Choudhury South Africa H3Africa population genomics studies – selection and adaptation
Sarah Tishkoff USA Genetic selection: Skin colour and lactase persistence
TBC TBC Ancient DNA studies – Neanderthal introgression
Partha P Majumder India Genome Asia
All speakers & Chairs   Discussion Q&A format (LIVE)
Chairs   Wrap-up

DAY 2: Infectious diseases and our genome
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Time: 9 – 11 am SAST

SSince the origin of modern man, people have been plagued by pathogens, threatening their health and causing premature death in hundreds of thousands of people over short time periods. Malaria and trypanosomiasis continue to cause high morbidity and mortality in Africa and the world is staggering under the COVID-19 pandemic. What have we learned about human adaptation, our immune responses and how vulnerable or resilient do variations in our genomes make us?

Speaker Country Suggested Topic
Ambroise Wonkam /
Poh San Lai
South Africa/Cameroon / Singapore Significance of infections in shaping the human genome and adaptation strategies
Solomon Ofori-Acquah, PhD Ghana Malaria and sickle cell disease in Africa
Prof George Gao China The role of host genome variation in the time of COVID-19
Sarah Dunstan Australia Host-pathogen interactions of a number of infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria and enteric fever
Mihai Netea The Netherlands Immune deficiency and susceptibility to infections
All speakers, Chairs & Raj Ramesar   Discussion Q&A format (LIVE)
Chairs   Wrap-up

Cost: No charge

Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies to cover the costs. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Carolyn Melnick on or +27 82 223 1338.