Personal Genetics Education Project

A busy summer for pgEd!

As a new academic year begins, pgEd is wrapping up another busy summer of PDs and workshops across the country (and beyond). Here’s what we’ve been up to this summer:


Teaching the Genome Generation (Brunswick, ME and Sacramento, CA)
Dana continued our collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory to offer the “Teaching the Genome Generation” PD, in which teachers get a mix of hands-on genetics-based laboratory work and discussions about the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic technologies. This week-long PD was offered in Brunswick, ME in June and Sacramento, CA in July.

Photo credit: Jackson Laboratory


Genetics and Social Justice PD (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA)
On July 11, pgEd hosted a one-day PD that attracted over 30 professionals from the greater Boston area. The room was packed with people who work in various sectors such as: the state legislature, youth advocacy, public/private education, forensics, and graduate students, just to name a few! Fabienne, our Director of Community Engagement, presented lessons on an Introduction to Personal Genetics; History, Eugenics & Genetics; and DNA, Crime & Law Enforcement.


Genome Engineering 2018 (Minneapolis, MN)
July 19-21, Johnny traveled to Minneapolis, MN to present at Genome Engineering 2018, a meeting hosted by the Genome Writers Guild for researchers, industry, and others interested in the ongoing development of technologies for genome engineering and editing. His presentation was focused on pgEd’s experience talking about CRISPR with diverse communities.


Teen Ambassador Summer Program (Cambridge & Mattapan, MA)
On July 19 and August 1-3, Fabienne, Florcy and Vika, pgEd’s new Community Engagement Liaison, piloted a new initiative called the Teen Ambassador Summer Program (TASP). They met with youth in Cambridge and Mattapan for a series of workshops presenting pgEd lessons and activities.


Summer Institute for K-12 Educators (Kerrville, TX)
Dana spent a few days this July at the Summer Institute for K-12 Educators in Kerrville, TX, where she presented two full days of pgEd material! Participation grew from the first day to the second as word got out about Dana’s engaging presentations!


Identity, Genetics & History (Sioux Falls, SD)
At the end of July, Johnny, Marnie, Fabienne, Florcy, and Robin all traveled to Sioux Falls, SD for a three-day PD on Identity, Genetics, and History. This program was a continuation of our partnership with the Sanford PROMISE on our joint NIH SEPA-funded project, Building Awareness, Respect, and Confidence through Genetics. We also took some time to meet with the wonderful team at the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH).


Preventing Overdiagnosis (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Johnny just returned from the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference in Copenhagen, Denmark where he introduced pgEd, talked about how new genetic testing technologies are impacting the clinical setting, and the importance of discussing the social context and implications when engaging diverse communities on topics of genetics.


African Festival of Boston (Boston, MA)
On August 26, pgEd had a booth at the African Festival of Boston, where we enjoyed wonderful music and dancing while engaging festivalgoers in conversation about the ethical, legal, and social impacts of genetic technology.


It’s been a busy summer for the pgEd team, but we’re looking forward to more opportunities to continue these discussions this fall! Find us at one of our upcoming events in Boston, Huntsville, AL, San Diego, CA, and more!