Dr. John Torday, MSc, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn, Harbor-UCLA, Division of Neonatology, discusses biomedical research, genomics, and life.
Dr. Torday’s extensive career in medicine and education has afforded him some choice opportunities, working and researching as a faculty member at prestigious universities such as Harvard Medical School, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the David Geffen School of Medicine.
Dr. Torday discusses some of his early experiences in the field, as well as some of the incredible advances he has seen in science and medicine. He specifically talks about the landmark observation of his career: that the cortisol hormone could accelerate human development, which was the beginning of neonatology. The implications of this observation were immense and became the fodder for much research ongoing.
The neonatology expert comments on the vast changes in biomedical research, from biochemistry to the transition to molecular biology, and the concept of genomics. He talks in depth about the importance of epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not require alterations in the existing DNA sequence. He muses on the concepts of epigenetics, regarding embryogenesis (embryonic development). As he states, epigenetic inheritance is passed in more than one generation, which is a particularly interesting and vital point in regard to research. He answers questions regarding genetic expression and the idea of epigenetic heritability. As he states, environment such as habitation in water or on land, play a role in organism development. And additionally, he states that diet can have an influence as well.
Speaking about evolutionary development, the PhD discusses some of his thoughts on various species, considering land and water environments. He provides extensive details on the complex biological factors that are involved. He talks in detail about three genes he states are necessary: parathyroid hormone-related protein gene, glucocorticoid receptor, and the beta adrenergic receptor.
Additionally, he expounds upon the importance of intercepting the loss of homeostatic control, which would provide for profound advances in the way we treat disease. He discusses the distinguishing traits between species, and then recounts some of the concepts and theories he has studied regarding the origin of life.