Lecture by Partha P Majumder in Faculty Hall @ 4 pm

Location: Faculty Hall

Dear All,

Centre for Brain Research (CBR), IISc
Indian Statistical Institute & National Institute of Biomedical Genomics

Date: THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2017

Venue: Faculty Hall, IISc Time: 4.00 PM



Recent advances in molecular and statistical genetics have enabled the reconstruction of human history by studying living humans. The ability to sequence and study DNA by calibrating the rate of accumulation of changes with evolutionary time has enabled robust inferences about how humans have evolved. To shed light on the peopling of South Asia, we have analyzed whole-genome sequences from 10 Andamanese individuals and compared them with sequences for 60 individuals from mainland Indian populations with different ethnic histories and with publicly available data from other populations. We have shown that all Asian and Pacific populations share a single origin and expansion out of Africa, contradicting an earlier proposal of two independent waves of migration. We have also shown that populations from South and Southeast Asia harbour a small proportion of ancestry from an unknown extinct hominin, and this ancestry is absent from Europeans and East Asians.

India, occupying the center-stage of Paleolithic and Neolithic migrations, has been underrepresented in genome-wide studies of variation. The contemporary social structure of Indian populations is characterized by endogamy with different degrees of porosity. The social structure, possibly coupled with large ecological heterogeneity, has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and local genetic differences within India. Systematic analysis of genome-wide data, using multiple robust statistical methods, on (i) 367 unrelated individuals drawn from 18 mainland and 2 island (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) populations selected to represent geographic, linguistic, and ethnic diversities, and (ii) individuals from populations represented in the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP), reveal four major ancestries in mainland India. This contrasts with an earlier inference of two ancestries based on limited population sampling. A distinct ancestry of the populations of Andaman archipelago was identified and found to be co-ancestral to Oceanic populations.

BIO: PARTHA MAJUMDER is the founder of the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, and concurrently a Professor of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India. His scientific contributions to human and population genetics span a vast range; from structure and evolution of human populations to genomics of diseases and development of statistical methods for genomic analyses. He is a Sir J.C. Bose National Fellow. He is an elected Fellow of all the three science academies of India, of The World Academy of Sciences and the International Statistical Institute. He is a Council Member of the Human Genome Organisation. He is the Indian National Co-ordinator on the International Cancer Genome Consortium. He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES), and was the founding Chair of its Ethics Committee. He has worked for the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO. He is a recipient of many awards and medals, including the TWAS Biology Prize, G.D. Birla Award for Scientific Research, Ranbaxy Research Award in Applied Medical Sciences, and the New Millennium Science Medal, Government of India.