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Louise M. Slaughter National DNA Day Lecture

Event Details

Each year the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) honors the life and legacy of genomics champion Representative Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.) - who passed away in March 2018 - by naming an annual National DNA Day lecture at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in her honor. These lectures are intended to spark curiosity in NIH staff about how to engage with the public on DNA and its applications in society. 

In 2024, former NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca shared his views on public science literacy in his talk titled “Do People Really Know What DNA Is?” 

All times are in ET.

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Hybrid: Virtual and In-Person

Legacy of Rep. Louise M. Slaughter

Louis M. Slaughter was a strong advocate for genomics research, and her work on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) helped to create protections against genetic discrimination with health insurance and employment. These protections allow patients and research participants to undergo genetic and genomic testing without fear that their results will be used to affect their job or access to health insurance. She was also responsible for passing a 2003 concurrent resolution in the House of Representatives that created National DNA Day, which celebrates the completion of the Human Genome Project and the anniversary of the discovery of DNA's iconic structure, the double helix.


As one of the longest-serving leaders of the House of Representatives, Rep. Slaughter was a dedicated public servant. She broke barriers by becoming the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee and was also the only microbiologist in Congress. She received a bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in public health from the University of Kentucky.


Committee ranking member Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) (L) speaks as committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) (R) looks on duirng a House Rules Committee meeting August 1, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House came back on Friday, a day after its scheduled summer recess, trying to finish up a border supplemental spending bill that was pulled from the floor the day before because of a shortage of votes.

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Sign language interpreting and CART services are available upon request to participate in this event. Individuals needing either of these services and/or other reasonable accommodations should contact Britny Kish at britny.kish@nih.gov, 240-381-1283. Requests should be made at least five days in advance. To access Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), call 711. 

Last updated: April 30, 2024