Genetic Testing — How Much Should You Know?

THU, OCT 15, 2015 (1:14:40)

Genetic testing has made it easier to learn all kinds of things about ourselves — but how much do we really know for sure? Can genetic testing yield misleading results causing misguided actions?

WGBH and NECIR hosted a discussion with investigative reporter Beth Daley and a panel to talk about genetic testing.

About NECIR The New England Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news outlet based at WGBH and Boston University. The center’s team of reporters has generated more than 100 in-depth, high-impact investigative stories that have reached millions of readers, viewers and listeners across the nation. The center has trained hundreds of students and journalists from around the country and the globe.

+ BIO: Beth Daley

Daley covered the environment, science and education for almost two decades at The Boston Globe and won numerous awards for her work including being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Among her many stories--a two-year investigation on mislabeled fish in Boston area restaurants that won three awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers along with additional awards from the National Press Club, the Society for Features Journalism and the National Headliner competition. Daley spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a Knight fellow at Stanford University, a program designed to foster journalistic innovation and entrepreneurship. There, she became deeply interested in new journalism models and created EnviroFact, a collaborative clearinghouse to check environmental claims in the news. From 2001-2003, Daley was the Globe’s science and 9/11 reporter covering the anthrax scare, the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. space program. From 1997-2001, she was the newspaper’s education reporter. On that beat, she wrote a series of award-winning stories on shoddy school construction and covered urban education in Boston and across the nation. Prior to joining the Globe in 1994, Daley worked as a reporter for the Newburyport Daily News and as an English teacher in Sri Lanka and Thailand. She is a graduate of Northeastern University.

+ BIO: Robert C. Green, MD, MPH

Director, G2P Research Program Associate Director for Research, Partners Personalized Medicine Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital, Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School Twitter: @RobertCGreen

Dr. Green is a physician-scientist in the Division of Genetics and Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His research interests have evolved from a focus on clinical trials and genetic epidemiology to a focus on translational genomics and health outcomes. He has been continuously funded by NIH for 21 years and has published over 300 articles. Key contributions have included the development of risk estimates based on family history and genetic markers, leadership and analysis of large multi-center treatment and prevention trials, including trials enriched through family history, and design, leadership and future planning of the first large-scale randomized clinical trials in translational genetics. He serves on a number of advisory, editorial and grant review boards and is a regular member of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) study section on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) and Human Genetics. He has been invited to participate in National Institutes of Health (NIH) planning workshops on the future of genomic medicine, and has been a featured or plenary speaker on translational genomics and personalized medicine at meetings of the World Science Festival, the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, the American Academy of Neurology, the Consumer Genetics Conference, the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics, the American Society of Human Genetics, the National Press Club and the Bio IT World Conference. He is a Board Member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and was a plenary speaker on the topic of “Translational Genomics” at the Presidential Symposium of the 2011 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

+ BIO: Jenn Schwab, MS, CGC

Jenn Schwab, MS, CGC Board-Certified Genetic Counselor Co-coordinator – Metabolic Newborn Screening Program Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital Genetic Counseling Center Twitter: @JennSchwabGC401

Jennifer Schwab, MS, CGC is a board-certified genetic counselor. She received a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern University in 2010 and an M.S. in Genetic Counseling from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2012. She subsequently moved to Rhode Island where she began her career as a Clinical Genetic Counselor at Rhode Island Hospital. She provides genetic counseling in the pediatric and adult settings in general genetics, metabolism, cancer genetics, and cardiovascular genetics. Jenn’s primary clinical interests include newborn screening, cardiovascular genetics, variants of uncertain significance, and student outreach. She is a Teaching Associate in Pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a consultant for Recombine.

+ BIO: Bruce M. Cohen

Dr. Cohen is the Robertson-Steele Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Program for Neuropsychiatry Research at McLean Hospital. President emeritus of McLean. He leads a multidisciplinary research program on the causes of psychiatric disorders, with the goal of developing new, more effective, and better tolerated treatments. He and his colleagues employ pharmacologic, brain imaging, epidemiologic, genomic and cell model approaches to study schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in particular. Collaborating investigators work at McLean and at the Broad Institute, Harvard University, MIT and international sites. Dr. Cohen has directed clinical and laboratory research projects at McLean for over 35 years. He is the founding director of the McLean Brain Imaging Center, and president and psychiatrist in chief emeritus at McLean Hospital, having led McLean from 1997 through 2005.

Dr. Cohen was named Psychiatrist of the Year by National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts in 2005 and 2010. He has over 400 peer reviewed published manuscripts and book chapters describing the results of his work.

Partner
WGBH
Series
BostonTalks: Investigates