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An Evening with the Experts: DNA, Personalized Medicine And You!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 @ 5:30 PM-9:30 PM


CORTEX Innovation District
4240 Duncan Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110

Parking is free in CIC@4240 Lots. Street parking also available.

OPEN to adults, Junior Academy members, middle and high school students. This event is accepting WAIT LIST registrations ONLY. Registration is required. Register below to be added to the WAIT LIST.

Videos of Dr. Eric Green’s Keynote Address and Panel Discussion Rounds from An Evening with the Experts: DNA, Personalized Medicine and You! coming soon!

September 23, 2015, Nine Network of Public Media broadcast of Science Matters segment featuring St. Louis native, Dr. Eric Green, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, on the promise of genomics and precision medicine.

Networking Reception

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Complimentary libations, hors d’oeuvres, and light refreshments. Music provided by Marcia Mann and Steve Schenkel.

Precision Medicine Keynote Address @ 6:15 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Eric Green, MD, PhD, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health

Panel Discussion Rounds

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.

Green(1)PANEL I
Holding Hope: The Promise of Precision Medicine
Precision Medicine Panel Discussion

Panel Moderator: Eric Green, MD, PhD, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health


The Experts:

ColeF. Sessions Cole, MD
Park J. White, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Children’s Health
Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Newborn Medicine,
Washington University School of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer,
St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Shortening Diagnostic Odysseys in Fetuses, Babies, and Children
Undiagnosed diseases in fetuses, babies, and children represent frustrating and costly challenges for patients, families, physicians, and society. These patients are frequently subjected to duplicative, sequential diagnostic testing over years without establishment of clinically actionable diagnoses. Personalized medicine for children provides opportunities to shorten these diagnostic odysseys by deciphering and analyzing gene code.

KingsmoreStephen F. Kingsmore, MB, BAO, ChB, DSc, FRCPath
Executive Director, Medical Panomics
Professor of Pediatrics and Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

Diagnosing Genetic Disease: Decoding DNA in a Day
One baby in seven is admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. The leading causes of death in these babies are genetic (DNA) diseases. By decoding the DNA of these babies, we are able to make a specific diagnosis of a genetic disease in almost a day—an ideal starting point for
precision medicine.

MardisElaine Mardis, PhD
Co-Director, The Elizabeth H. and James S. McDonnell Genome Institute at
Washington University
Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine,
Washington University School of Medicine
Fellow and 2012 Outstanding St. Louis Scientist George Engelmann Interdisciplinary Award recipient, The Academy of Science – St. Louis

Cancer Genomics from Discovery to Diagnosis: The Promise of Genomics-Guided Precision Oncology
Large-scale cancer genomics discovery efforts have revolutionized our understanding of cancer’s origins. Over the past seven years these efforts have illustrated, at exquisite resolution, that cancer is a disease of the genome and that each cancer results from an infinitely complex combination of genes and how they are altered. Cancer genomics is transitioning from being a discovery tool to a diagnostic tool, indicating which genes are altered in a given patient and which therapies might best address these genetic alterations. In the newest applications of genomics, data on mutations may indicate patients most likely to respond to immunotherapy, or may help to design patient-specific vaccines, either of which can employ the patient’s immune system to fend off recurrent cancer.

RodriguezPANEL II
The Playing Field: Ethics and Health Disparities Issues in Precision Medicine
Ethics/Health Disparities Panel discussion

Panel Moderator: Laura Lyman Rodriguez, PhD, Director, Division of Policy, Communications, and Education; Acting Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health

The Experts:

GehlertSarah Gehlert, PhD
E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity, George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Professor, Department of Surgery (School of Medicine)
Washington University in St. Louis
Co-Director, Transdisciplinary Center on Energetics and Cancer
Training Program Director, Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities, and
Co-Chair, Prevention and Control Program,
Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
Member, Board of Scientific Counselors,
National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health

Liberty and Justice for All? Precision Medicine Initiative Impacts and Health Disparities
The Precision Medicine Initiative has potential to advance medicine through its focus on the interactions between individuals’ genes and their environments. Yet, questions arise about whether all Americans will receive the same benefit from these advances. Dr. Sarah Gehlert addresses the implications of the Precision Medicine Initiative on the Nations’ health disparities.

PlutAnya Plutynski, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy,
Washington University in St. Louis

More Precise = More Effective?
When diagnosed with cancer, you may be given a variety of information: the stage or grade of a tumor, location, tissue of origin, the number of blasts for leukemia.  Currently, now, you may also receive information about molecular biomarkers or genetic signature. The hope of molecular medicine is that by identifying the ‘molecular signature’ of each cancer type and subtype, clinicians can determine whether a cancer is likely to progress, and how to best intervene. Targeted treatments aim at intervening on specific cancer types and subtypes. In service of this end, “oncotyping” is an exemplary case of “precision” medicine. Patients and clinicians are using this information to make decisions about treatment.  However, there is reason for measured skepticism about this precision tool in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Questions about scope, relevance, allocation and justice are raised.

RossWill Ross, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Renal Division,
Associate Dean for Diversity, Office of Diversity Programs
Washington University School of Medicine

Considering Race and Ethnicity and the Importance of a Population Health Approach in
Precision Medicine
Precision medicine provides enormous opportunity for discerning how our gene endowment impacts disease predilection. The information gained becomes even more meaningful if precision medicine is deployed in understanding disease susceptibility in the most vulnerable populations. However, in the absence of a population health approach, precision medicine may ultimately detract from well-needed research on gene-environment interactions in racial and ethnic minorities.


An Evening with The Experts is a Year of the Genome special partnership presentation of The Academy of Science – St. Louis and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), with support from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

Visit the exhibit, Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, on display at the Saint Louis Science Center through September 10, 2015.

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Instagram Challenge!


We’re encouraging students and adults to visit the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibit on display at the Saint Louis Science Center through September 10, 2015. Everyone is asked to Instagram their experience by taking a selfie during their visit to the exhibit or at this event! The 10 Instagram photos with the most likes win science prizes! To complete the challenge follow these steps:

  1. Follow the Academy on Instagram
  2. Visit the Exhibit and take a selfie using Instagram
  3. Use hashtag #genomestl
  4. Tag the Academy on Instagram


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
5:30 PM-9:30 PM
Event Categories:


CORTEX Innovation District CIC@4240
4240 Duncan Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
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