Skip Navigation

Genomics and Our Health: What Does the Future Hold?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 1:00pm to 8:45pm








As the Genome: Unlocking Life's Code exhibition closed at the National Museum of Natural History and began its North American tour, a closing symposium was held to explore the importance of genomic medicine and what the next decade holds for genomic advances.

A feature story  offering additional insights is also available.

The symposium was held in two parts, with a day and evening session. This program was videotaped and presentations can be viewed below.



Welcoming Remarks and Framing Talk
Jonathan Coddington, PhD
 Associate Director of Science, National Museum of Natural History
Seema Kumar, PhD Vice President, Innovation, Global Health, and Policy Communication, Johnson and Johnson
Eric Green, MD, PhD Director, National Human Genome Research Institute

The Future of Genomic Medicine Welcome presentation

A conversation on the future of human genomics: where research is headed, the role of the private citizen in genomic testing and research, access to genomic testing, and clinical practices.

Moderator: Eric Green, MD, PhD Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
Anne Wojcicki | CEO and Co-Founder, 23andMe
Richard Lifton, MD, PhD | Sterling Professor of Genetics and Professor of Mdicine, Yale University

Genomics and Global Health

A conversation focusing on genomics and global health, with a particular emphasis on genomics and the recent outbreak ofWelcome presentation
the Ebola virus on the African continent. The conversation discusses the use of genomics to find cures and treatments for diseases that affect populations in developing countries.

Moderator: Seema Kumar, PhD Vice President, Innovation, Global Health, and Policy Communication, Johnson and Johnson
Pardis Sabeti, MD, PhD | Associate Professor, Center for Systems Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease, Harvard University and Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Charles Rotimi, PhD | Chief and Senior Investigator, Metabolic, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch and Director, Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute



Welcome presentationWatch the program.

“Should I get a genomic test to see if I am at risk for breast cancer?”  “I just discovered that I have the gene that puts me at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  Should I tell my children?”  “Should I have my newborn baby’s genome sequenced?” 

These are just some of the hard questions that people face today, or will in the future, around personal medical issues and families – particularly related to genomics and medicine.

Carolyn Hax, Washington Post Advice Columnist, answered questions about health issues, genetics, and dealing with disease.  Every week, Carolyn answers her readers’ hard questions and helps them tackle their problems.  She has spoken publicly about her mother’s battle with the devastating illness Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and has worked to increase biomedical research dollars and raise awareness about this illness, which currently has no cure.

She was joined by Barbara Biesecker, PhD, a genetic counselor and researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute and who directs The Johns Hopkins University/National Human Genome Research Institute Genetic Counseling Training Program, and David Valle, MD, Professor and Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Moderating the program was Rebecca Roberts from the Smithsonian Associates, a journalist who has served as a longtime substitute host for various shows on National Public Radio.



Feature Story: Unlocking Life's Code closing symposium features genomics, global health and the future



Partner Logos


Photo Credits

All images courtesy of Maggie Bartlett, NHGRI