NHGRI logo

Conference Examines Impact Of Human Genome Project On Minority Communities

October 2001

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will co-sponsor "The Human Genome Project Conference: The Challenges and Impact of Human Genome Research for Minority Communities," Nov. 9 - 11, 2001. The conference will inform the public, students and healthcare providers in minority communities about the scientific advances and the ethical, legal and societal impact of the Human Genome Project (HGP).

The free event, co-sponsored with the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Education Foundation, the National Human Genome Center at Howard University, the Family Life Center Foundation at Shiloh Baptist Church and NHGRI, will be held in the Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th St., NW, Washington, D.C., 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Nov. 9, and 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Nov. 10. The conference continues with a town meeting at 6:00 p.m., Nov. 10 at the Shiloh Family Life Center, 1500 9th St., NW in Washington, D.C. The conference concludes on Nov. 11 with a worship service at the Shiloh Family Life Center that starts 7:45 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 1:00 p.m.

In February 2001, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium of the Human Genome Project reported the "Initial Sequencing and Analysis of the Human Genome" (Nature 409: 860-921, 2001). This historic research will bring about a new era of genetic medicine. It will serve as a basis for research and discovery in the coming decades and will have profound long-term consequences for medicine and healthcare.

The conference will open with keynote addresses by two leaders of the HGP. Dr. Aristedes Patrinos, associate director, Office of Health and Environmental Research, Department of Energy, will present "The Human Genome Project: Inception to the Present," a history of the HGP since 1990. Dr. Francis Collins, director of NHGRI, will present the second keynote address, "The Human Genome Project: What Does the Future Hold?" which will attempt to explain the future of genomic healthcare and the ethical challenges that lie ahead.

Later that afternoon, Dr. Georgia Dunston, founding director of the National Human Genome Center at Howard University will discuss "Genomic Research in the African Diaspora: Implications for Human Health."

"It's important for minority communities to understand what kind of effect genomic research will have on their health care. We all need to empower ourselves with this knowledge so that we can make educated decisions regarding our health and to learn how to protect against the misuse of this information," said Dr. Dunston. "This conference will provide a positive environment to discuss the science as well as the ethical issues and concerns that we'll all face in the future."

The second day of the conference will feature workshops (at the Renaissance Hotel) on various topics, including: "Community Involvement in Community Genetic Research and Policymaking;" "Training and Education Opportunities in Scientific Research for Minority Students;" "Genetic Testing and Counseling;" and "Privacy and Fair Use of Genetic Information."

The conference received funding from the Consumer Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and NHGRI.

Margaret May
Phone: (301) 897-7481
E-mail inquiries: confdept@tech-res.com

Top of page

Last updated: September 20, 2007