Seminars & Events

If you are interested in receiving e-mail notices and reminders regarding seminars and events sponsored by the Department of Genetics, please join our Event Mailing List

Distinguished Seminar Series

Cosponsored by the Department of Genetics, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Penn Epigenetics Institute, and the Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Prominent scientists are invited to Penn to give seminars on their research on Mondays (12 pm-1 pm) during the academic year (Gaulton Auditorium, BRB lobby).

Frontiers in Genetics

Lectures are part of the Distinguished Seminar Series and are organized by GEN T32 trainees. These seminars provide students with the opportunity to invite and host prominent scientists performing cutting-edge genetic research.

Genetics Friday Research Talks

Support your fellow geneticists by attending our weekly postdoctoral and graduate student research in progress talks (Austrian Auditorium, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm).

Genetics Journal Club

Faculty, postdocs, and grad students present and discuss current papers in genetic/genomic research.

The Bernard Cohen Memorial Lecture in Genetics

This lectureship was established in 1985 and brings a distinguished geneticist to the School of Medicine each Spring. Dr. Stanley N. Cohen, a 1960 School of Medicine graduate and current Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, endowed the Lectureship. Dr. Cohen established the annual event as a memorial to his father, Bernard Cohen (1905-1974), to honor his lifelong interest in science. The Lectureship is designed to further the interaction of students and faculty and to promote interest in genetics at Penn.

  • 2024 Cohen lecture – Edith Heard, PhD (EMBL) April 15, 2024 (12pm-1pm)
  • Previous Cohen Lectures: 
    • 2023 – Robert Darnell, MD/PhD (Rockefeller)

    • 2022 Cohen Lecture - Titia de Lange, Ph.D (The Rockerfeller University)
    • 2021 - David Kingsley (Stanford University) 
    • 2020 - David Reich, PhD (Broad Institute) 
    • 2019 - Jennifer Doudna, PhD (University of California at Berkeley) 
    • 2018 - Hugo Bellen, DVM, PhD (Baylor College of Medicine)
    • 2017 - Peter Donnelly, FRS, FMEDSCI (University of Oxford) 

The Gail Gasser Lecture

Established to bring a distinguished scientist working on the genetic aspects of Parkinson's Disease, other neurodegenerative diseases, or neuroscience to the Perelman School of Medicine each fall. Dr. David Gasser, an Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Penn, endowed the lectureship. Dr. Gasser established the annual event in honor of his wife, Gail Gasser. The Lectureship is designed to further the interaction of students and faculty and to promote interest in neurogenetics at Penn.

  • 2023 – Gasser lecture – Mark Cookson, PhD (NIH) October 23, 2023 (4pm-5pm) 
  • Previous Gasser Lectures
    • 2022 – Alison Goate, DPhil (Mount Sinai) 

    • 2021- Maria Grazia Spillantini (University of Cambridge)
    • 2019 - Karl Diesseroth, MD, PhD (Stanford University) 
    • 2018 - Thomas Südhof, MD (Stanford University) 
    • 2017 - Ted Dawson, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University)
    • 2016 - Andrew Singleton, PhD (National Institutes of Health)

Kadesch Prize in Genetic Research

In 2011, the Department of Genetics established the "Tom Kadesch Prize in Genetics" to honor the legacy of our friend and colleague Dr. Tom Kadesch. Dr. Kadesch was a member of the Genetics department from 1984 until his death in 2011, and served as Interim Chairman for his final 4 years. He was not only an excellent scientist, but also a tremendously dedicated mentor, teacher, and University citizen whose contributions inspired those around him. In his memory, with the help of many generous donors, we were able to set up an endowed fund that will support in perpetuity an annual award to "a graduate student demonstrating excellence in research achievement and citizenship".

  • 2023 Kadesch Prize Recipient: Rina Kim

Kaushal Family Award in Genetics

The Kaushal Family Awards recognize predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars for excellence in genetic research as evidenced by publication.

  • 2023 Kaushal Recipients: Daniel Park (graduate student) & Karl Glastad (postdoc)

Penn Genetics Retreat

The annual Penn Genetics Retreat is the kickoff event to the academic year. It is intended to build a strong cohort identity among Penn Genetics faculty and trainees through a variety of scientific presentations, keynote lectures, poster sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and leisurely activities in an informal setting in the Pocono Mountains. All GEN-TG students are invited to attend. This years Genetics Retreat is at Bear Creek Mountain Lodge from November 15 – 17, 2023.

Fantastic Final Friday (FFF)

On one Friday in each month, members of the Penn Genetics community are invited to enjoy food and drink. Organized by 3rd-year G&E students. CRB 302, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm.

Conversations in Genetics

Coming this fall - one Friday/month (different from FFF) Informal gathering of Genetics faculty and students to discuss collaborative projects, applications of new techniques, or different approaches to a similar “big question” in genetic research. CRB 302, 4:00 pm-5:30 pm.

Gender Equality Events

The Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is committed to improving gender equity. As overt gender discrimination recedes, it becomes necessary to confront and educate both men and women on the unconscious gender biases and norms that arise from living in a society that has long favored men. To this end, the department has organized programming for the entire department and several small group mentoring circles open to affiliated female trainees.