Research Seminar featuring HSU alumni, Peter Underhill

HSU Alum, Dr. Peter Underhill, will present a research seminar on Friday, February 3, 2023 in Science B 135. The title of the presentation is "Pioneering human Y-chromosome DNA sequence variation and mapping human history".

Peter A. Underhill (retired), BS Humboldt State 1970 Oceanography; MS 1976 & PhD 1981 University of Delaware, Marine Studies. After transitioning to molecular biology, he served 27 years as a staff researcher in the Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine. The patterns of DNA variation in humans are an archive of our species evolutionary history. Since most of the haploid Y chromosome has the special property of not recombining, no confounding shuffling of DNA from different ancestors occurs. As a consequence, any Y chromosome simply sequentially accumulates all the mutations that have occurred during its lin-eal life span and thus preserves the paternal genetic legacy that has been trans-mitted over the generations. However, prior to the completion of the human ge-nome and next generation DNA sequencing, the challenge was how to find such Y chromosome DNA variation. Along the way in 1995, Peter co-invented DHPLC technology that accelerated the discovery of nucleotide substitutions. Numerous Y chromosome DNA sequences can be assembled into a single phylogeny or gene tree that displays geographically distinctive branches. His pioneering contributions in marker development lead to a seminal publication in 2000 that revealed an in-complete but yet formative framework of the global Y chromosome phylogeny. This foundational work ultimately opened new vistas of demographic