Science Center to host forum on personal human genomics


From the Carnegie Science Center:

On Monday, June 6, Carnegie Science Center and Café Scientifique will host Misha Angrist, PhD, for an in-depth discussion on personal genomics.

Misha Angrist, PhD, Assistant Professor of the Practice at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, knows the field of personal genomics well. In 2007, he became the fourth subject in Harvard geneticist George Church’s Personal Genome Project. In 2009, he was among the first few people to have his entire genome sequenced.

Dr. Angrist will share his experience as chronicled in his book, Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics, and will present the pros, cons, and potential impact of personal genomics on human health and society. The discussion will be followed by a book sale and book signing by the author.

Here is a Human Being reveals startling information about the genome experiment’s participants and scientists, and tackles the question: What does having an unfiltered view of our hardwired selves mean for us and our children? The book also addresses controversial questions like: What will genetic information be used for? Can personal genomics help fix the U.S. health care system? Can it help us understand our ancestry, or will it merely reinforce old ideas of race?

“Personal genomics is being used in so many aspects of our daily life that we may not even be aware of,” says Linda Ortenzo, director of STEM education at Carnegie Science Center. “Hearing this unique side to genomics is crucial for people to really understand the impact that it has on our society and on future generations. The Science Center is excited to present a personal perspective on this important topic.”

Misha Angrist holds a doctorate degree in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and was formerly a board-eligible genetic counselor. He received his MFA in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont, is a past winner of the Brenda L. Smart Fiction Prize, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Dr. Angrist was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

Science Center doors open at 6 pm; the presentation will begin at 7 pm and will conclude around 9 pm after a question-and-answer session. Dinner will be available to purchase for $8, including a vegetarian option. A cash bar also will be offered. Admission to Café Scientifique is free, but online registration for this event is recommended.

Café Scientifique, also known as Café Sci, is THE place in Pittsburgh where adults interested in science can get together to discuss today’s hot topics in a cool, informal setting. Each event features eating, drinking, and informal discussion led by guest speakers who are experts in their fields.

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