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Media Advisory

NIH to host a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" on the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics research

The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program, is designed to bring together experts in wide-ranging fields - bioethics, law, behavioral and social sciences, epidemiology, public health, public policy, genomics and clinical research - to study the potential societal implications of genomic information and research. Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI
People in the shape of double helix

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the National Institutes of Health will hold a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) with members of the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program, a part of the Division of Genomics and Society. Program experts are prepared to discuss numerous important topics such as:

  • How do we work with diverse communities to ensure that the benefits of genomics are available fairly across our society?
  • What are the ethical implications of using genomic information to help manage the prevention, control and treatment of infectious diseases?
  • What kinds of questions do new technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 raise?

Members of the media and public are invited to ask questions, or follow along with the conversation during the Reddit AMA.

NHGRI's Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program was established in 1990 to complement the advances made by the Human Genome Project. It was designed to bring together experts in the wide-ranging fields of bioethics, law, the humanities, the behavioral and social sciences, and clinical research, to study the potential societal implications of genomics research, such as those that stem from the results of direct-to-consumer genetic tests, or questions that arise from using genomic information in medical care. This program is especially important now as advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information elevate the need for research on the resultant ethical, legal and social questions.


Lawrence Brody, Ph.D., division director; Joy Boyer, B.A., program director; Dave Kaufman, Ph.D., program director; Nicole Lockhart, Ph.D., program director, all in the NHGRI Division of Genomics and Society.


The AMA will be available at 8 a.m. Eastern on Monday, January 29, 2018 through this link (under "Upcoming AMAs"). Hosts will answer questions from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

More information:

A Reddit AMA is an opportunity to ask interesting individuals question about anything and everything. Log in or sign up for a free Reddit account and ask your questions starting at 8 a.m. Eastern by clicking on the published AMA that can be found here (under "Upcoming AMAs").

Learn more about the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program:


Sheena Faherty, Ph.D.
NHGRI Communications
(301) 480-5289

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. The NHGRI Extramural Research Program supports grants for research, and training and career development at sites nationwide. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at

National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit


Posted: January 23, 2018