With consumer genetics becoming more of a reality and direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetics tests becoming more readily available to consumers, preeminent thought leaders from government, health care, biotechnology, and DTC companies will convene in Boston, from June 2 to 4, at the Hynes Convention Center for the second annual Consumer Genetics Conference to discuss the issues, benefits, challenges and potential for personalized medicine and direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

This conference offers a unique, unbiased forum where the scientific, clinical, business and financial elements regarding consumer genetics will be openly discussed during the panels, and various perspectives offered. And with the current controversy over whether companies can sell over-the-counter genetic tests in retail pharmacy outlets, this conference is very timely. With many new developments in this field, participating companies will be announcing major business and technology news during the forum. The media are invited to this conference where they will be able to attend presentations and speak one-on-one with leading experts in this field.

The goal of this unbiased forum is to foster a productive exchange and enhance collaboration between the emerging industry and the scientific, medical and academic community. Panel participants at the Consumer Genetics Conference will represent several viewpoints allowing for a broad spectrum of perspectives and lively discussion on the various aspects of consumer genetics. Highlights and points of interest to the media at the conference will include:

  • Opening conference keynote on “Consumer Genetics: Where Are We, What is Needed” by George Church, renowned American molecular geneticist and Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School.
  • Day 2 keynote speaker on the “Bioethical Issues Surrounding Consumer Genetics” by Raju Kucherlapati, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and recently appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
  • The use of genomics in medical practices by physician and author Brandon Colby, MD, whose latest book, “Outsmart Your Genes,” is now available in bookstores. It is the first practical book on genetic testing and predictive medicine written for the layperson that separates fact from myth, and provides practical solutions for protecting against disease once a person’s genetic risk is assessed. Dr. Colby uses genetic testing in his approach to patient care in his medical practice.
  • Jim Weber, renowned for his revolutionary maps of the human genome before the full sequence was available, will discuss the business of building a genetic testing company.
  • Paul Billing, Director and CSO of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital, the nation’s first provider of genomic medicine services in a community hospital setting will speak about the precedents that come with the use of genomic medicine services in patient care.
  • Venture Capitalists from Google Ventures and Third Rock Ventures will provide a look at the DTC and Consumer Genetics Industry from an investment perspective and provide venture capital insights.
  • CEO Jay Flatley of Illumina will present on the advances in DNA sequencing and moving the technology from bench-to-bedside.
  • Greg Lucier, Chairman and CEO of Life Technologies will discuss the clinical utility of DNA sequencing and how sequencing technology is helping to usher in a new era of personalized and genomic medicine.

Source: Consumer Genetics Conference