Featured Profile: Christine Elsik
For Dr. Christine Elsik, it’s all in the genes.
Elsik has devoted her career to studying the genome: the genetic material of an organism. As genetic information becomes more complete and reliable for different species, it can be used to treat, prevent and cure illness in animals and humans.
Elsik is widely known for her expertise in bovine genetics. Prior to arriving at the University of Missouri in 2012, she led a team of international researchers to unlock the genome sequence in cattle – the first scientists ever to do so. The results will be used to address disease prevention in cattle and food production for a growing human population.
Most recently, Elsik has turned her attention to the honey bee. An integral part of the growth cycle of plants, the bee is important economically and ecologically. Additionally, its genes may provide insight into human allergies and immunities. Previous genetic research had suggested that the honey bee had a comparatively small number of genes; Elsik and her colleagues found 5,000 additional genes that had never been identified.
Dr. Christine Elsik, a Mizzou Advantage faculty hire, is associate professor of animal and plant sciences in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
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One Health/One Medicine