Geneticist cited on punk website

Posted by mjs76 at Jul 16, 2012 11:58 AM |
Woody Guthrie centenary: the University of Leicester connection.
Geneticist cited on punk website

Squirtgun, featuring Dr Flav Giorgini (far right)

The University of Leicester is rarely mentioned on, but a post last week name-checked Dr Flav Giorgini in our Department of Genetics. Saturday was the centenary of the birth of American folk music legend Woody Guthrie, whose powerful, simplistic songs and anti-establishment attitude predated the 1970s punk movement.

Guthrie died in 1967 from complications surrounding Huntington’s disease, a condition which had hospitalised him for most of the decade.

Dr Giorgini’s research into the genetic basis of Huntington’s, using model organisms such as fruit flies and baker’s yeast, is bringing closer the day when a cure for this condition may be available. But before he became a bioscientist, Flav was lead guitarist with American punk band Squirtgun, a bunch of Indiana rockers who recorded several CDs in the 1990s and have reformed occasionally since then. You can hear Flav’s fretwork over the opening titles of the Kevin Smith movie Mallrats. says: “Simply put, following years as a touring musician in a genre which owes so much to Guthrie, Flav and his colleagues work to better understand, and more effectively treat, Huntington's Disease, and disorders like it. We can think of no finer tribute to Woody than that.”

Share this page: