Consumer Genetics Conference to take place from October 3-5

Consumer Genetics Conference to take place from October 3-5

Advancements in sequencing and diagnostics technology are the underlying elements driving the genomic revolution. With the free-falling cost of sequencing, richer reference data and improved interpretation methods, the use of personal genomics is beginning to take greater root in clinical practice.

With this evolution, the questions become: How will the role of the patient change in this value-driven world? Will it empower patients to take greater charge of their health and become more active participants in their care? Will physicians find this a help or a hindrance? Will it mean that medical practices are required to have access to genomic tools and technologies? Will this drive price up or down? Will consumer access to diagnostic and genomic tests provide more information than a patient can handle, or empower the patient to play a greater role in their clinical care program? These are all questions that will be explored at this year’s Consumer Genetics Conference, to take place October 3-5 at the Boston Seaport Hotel.

At this year’s conference, Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director, Social Sciences and Bioethics, Scripps Translational Science Institute, will answer the question: What do people do with their genomes? She will describe the Scripps Genomic Health Initiative, a longitudinal cohort study of over 2,000 adults who have undergone testing with a commercially available genomic test, and will highlight findings on the psychological, behavioral and clinical impacts of genomic testing.

Richard Kellner, Co-founder and President of Genome Health Solutions, will share a personal story that addresses a fundamental question: Does it hurt less if you know more? Through his eyes, he will tell the story of a patient’s diagnostic odyssey and discuss the importance of becoming an empowered patient. He will also present a roadmap that patients and doctors can follow toward a new era of personalized genomic medicine.

Kenneth Chahine, Ph.D., J.D, Senior Vice President of, will present: An Inside Look at How AncestryDNA Uses Population Genetics to Enrich its Online Family History Experience. Chahine will discuss’s novel direct-to-consumer genealogical DNA test, describing how it is being used to predict identity-by-descendent, find genetic relatives and forecast genetic ethnicity.

Experts from clinical, academic, patient advocacy and consumer genetics organizations will discuss the ongoing challenges facing human genomics, including sample collection, bioinformatics analysis and clinical interpretation. They will also explore the ethical, societal and regulatory considerations that will need to parallel the evolution of consumer genetics. And they will discuss how personalized genomics medicine is reshaping the field of medicine as we know it, including the technology, clinical care and role of the patient.

Speakers presenting on empowered patient technologies and trends include:

• Gholson Lyon, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Human Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: “Consumer Empowerment in Health Care and Personal Genomics: Ethical, Societal and Regulatory Considerations”

• Craig Martin, CEO, Feinstein Kean Healthcare: “Genomes R Us – How Personalized Medicine is Reshaping the Role of Patients, and Why it Matters”

• Brian T. Naughton, Ph.D., Founding Scientist, 23andMe: “23andMe’s DTC Exome”

• Nathan Pearson, Ph.D., Director of Research, Knome, Inc.: “Winding the Asklepian Wand: the Advent of Whole Genomes in Healthcare”

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