Opportunities and Risks of Personal Genomics Are Key Topics of Sunday’s Session of the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Boston

Sunday’s (October 20) portion of the five-day 2013 XXIst World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics opened with a plenary session on the “Opportunities and Risks Associated with Personal & Clinical Genomics.” The format was a panel presentation chaired by Robert C. Green, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Associate Director for Research at Partners Health Care for Personalized Genetic Medicine, and Director of Genes2People (GTP). The four distinguished panelists were Paul Appelbaum, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, & Law and Director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University; Atul Butte, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Systems Medicine and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Computer Science at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, and a co-founder of Personalis, a contract research organization and genome-scale diagnostics services company pioneering genome-guided medicine; A. Cecile Janssens, Ph.D., Professor at Emory University in Atlanta: and Uta Francke, M.D., Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine, past President of the American Society of Human Genetics, and Senior Medical Director of the personal genomics company 23andMe. Dr. Green began by discussing the purposes of genetic testing: confirmation, diagnosis of mysterious diseases, risk profiling, and research. He also stressed context: medical versus consumer interest; clinical or research; pre-conception, pre-natal, pediatric or adult; various degrees of patient education; no results and anticipated results; and incidental findings.
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