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Human Genetics Expert, Dr. Rick Kittles Presents at Berea College on Feb. 24

An African American biologist who specializes in human genetics at University of Chicago and who traces African ancestry through DNA testing, Dr. Rick Kittles will speak at Berea College on Thursday, Feb. 24.

Rick Kittles presentation Feb. 24

The presentation is scheduled at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. Dr. Kittles’ presentation is titled “The Role of Diverse Populations in Personalized Genetic Medicine.” The event is the 2010 Berea College Science Lecture, co-sponsored with the philosophy and religion departments and Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center.

Kittles is known for researching the genetics of prostate cancer and health disparities among African Americans. He has also been at the forefront of developing ancestry-informative genetic markers and how genetic ancestry can be used to map genes for common traits and disease. In addition to his research, he is scientific director and co-founder of African Ancestry, Inc., a private company that provides DNA testing services for tracing African genetic lineages to genealogists and the general public around the world. His areas of expertise includes, genetics, human genetics, prostate cancer (genetics, health disparities, and race) and human genetic variation and human pigmentation.

Kittles is an associate professor in genetic medicine at University of Chicago and professor in radiology and cell biology at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine. Kittles earned his doctorate in biology from George Washington University in 1998 and joined the university’s faculty as an associate professor of medicine in 2006.

Kittles’ presentation is one of many events celebrating Black History Month at Berea College. Berea College alumnus Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” began the nation’s annual observance as Black History Week in 1926. Woodson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in literature from Berea in 1903. Other Black History Month activities can be viewed at

Other upcoming convocations include:

• March 3: Carol M. Browner “The Courage Not To Look Away: Protecting Where and How We Live” at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Auditorium.
• March 10: Anat Cohen Quartet “Jazz: Electric and in the Moment” at 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Auditorium
• March 22: Berea College Country Dancers “Directed by Deborah Thompson” at 8 p.m. in Old Seabury Gym
For a complete listing of all Berea College convocations in 2011 visit View the online calendar at for more information about Berea College events.

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