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The Expanding Influence of Genomics on Society

From prenatal genetic screening to the genetic testing of women with family histories of breast cancer, genomics is rapidly becoming a fixture in our lives. Genomics and Society: Expanding the ELSI Universe, a three-day conference on the vast number of issues that spring from the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic research, will be held on June 5 - 7, 2017 by The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and UConn Health in Farmington, Connecticut. The conference is funded by The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) through a grant to Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).

Anticipate and Address Societal Issues

"NHGRI has been the major funder of ELSI research since the beginning of the Human Genome Project," said Lawrence Brody, Ph.D., NHGRI's director of the Division of Genomics and Society. "Our aim is to support research that anticipates and addresses the societal impact of genomic science."

The latest research on ELSI topics will be presented by physicians, geneticists, genetic counselors, and social scientists and lawyers, in academia, government and industry, from around the world. From renowned researchers at the top of their fields to students and early career scientists bringing new insight and perspectives, the depth and range of expertise at the conference promise fascinating debates over new and emerging data.

Artwork for the 2017 Genomics and Society: Expanding the ELSI Universe (ELSI Congress)

Keynote speaker Eric Dishman, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Precision Medicine Initiative's All of Us Research Program will kick off the meeting with a discussion of the need for continuous innovation to address the quickly evolving genomic landscape. Other featured speakers include:

  • Pearl O'Rourke from Harvard Medical School on the ethical, legal and social implications of the All of Us initiative;
  • James Evans, Professor of Genomics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina on the ethics of genomic medicine in the clinical setting;
  • Alondra Nelson, Dean of Social Science at Columbia University on genes, ancestry and identity;
  • Wylie Burke, Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington on the rapid reinvention of ELSI in our evolving healthcare world.

The full program presents new research in more than 150 expert panel discussions, individual paper and poster presentations, and workshops on topics ranging from the implications of genetic testing in the criminal justice system to the uses and potential misuses of CRISPR - the very latest in genetic manipulation.

Follow #ELSICON for news updates before and during the conference.

Last updated: May 5, 2017