A panel discussion summarizing the UA’s “Genomics Now” lecture series brought all five series speakers together to discuss the future of the emerging science. A podcast of their March 6 program will be shown at the Arizona Senior Academy on Wednesday (March 27), beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Entitled “Genomics Tomorrow,” the program’s panelists include the five lecturers (Fernandez Martinez, Michael Worobey, Michael W. Nachman, Rod A. Wing, and Donata Vercelli) plus Dr. Thomas Grogan, the founder of Ventana Medical Systems Inc. The panel answered questions posed by Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the College of Science, as well as questions from the audience submitted in advance.
At the start, it was emphasized that a current challenge of genomic research is to integrate the vast amount of data being acquired in order to advance from disease diagnosis to treatment, healing and prevention. The panel then tackled other issues concerning the potential impact of genomics research on both individuals and society. They discussed the plusses and minuses of pre-natal genetic testing, low-cost personal genetic profiling, genetically modified crops, and synthetic biology. The discussion ended with consideration of ethical issues that will arise from the research.
Those who attended earlier replays of the Genomics Now series at the Academy will recognize three of the speakers – Fernandez Martinez, Michael W. Nachman, and Rod A. Wing, each of whom spoke in person. Worobey’s lecture is not available for broadcast, and Vercelli will present her work in person on Wednesday, April 10.
Submitted by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village Volunteer