Personal Genetics Education Project

GETed 2012

In April, 2012, we convened educators from national organizations, colleges, universities, medical schools, research institutes, hospitals, health care centers, museums, and community efforts to brainstorm strategies for accelerating education in genetics.

The challenge set for GETed 2012 was to devise game plans to educate an entire nation, setting a goal of one year to achieve significant impact. Ideally, these strategies would be immediately actionable and not require significant additional funding or building of new infrastructure.  Our discussions were propelled by the following questions:

(1) The average person may select to spend at most one hour learning about personal genetics. What are the most important concepts to convey?
(2) How would you promote this awareness nation-wide and make it equally accessible across all demographics?
(3) How quickly can we implement this education?

The GETed group developed an array of strategies for achieving a first wave of education – stimulating interest, building awareness, and laying the foundation for deeper understanding – and discussions are on-going toward implementation.

Two of the game plans that pgEd put in place in the 11 months that followed are our cell phone game, called Map-Ed, and a pipeline to promote the portrayal of personal genetics on television shows in conjunction with Hollywood, Health & Society.

Thanks to our 2012 attendees for an exciting meeting!

  • Jack Bateman, pgEd Affiliate; Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Bowdoin College
  • Lynne Bemis, Co-founder, Genetic Education for Native Americans, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Vicky Cardoza, Project Coordinator, Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza
  • Jeanne Chowning, Director of Education, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
  • Anne Marie Clarke, Science Curriculum Program Specialist, Educational Outreach Programs, Harvard Medical School
  • Patricia Crawford, Director of Rural Outreach, Graduate Medical Education, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Michael Dougherty, Director of Education, American Society of Human Genetics
  • Carla Easter, Deputy Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute
  • Bogi Eliasen, Program Director, FarGen
  • Marnie Gelbart, Director of Program Development & National Initiatives, pgEd, Harvard Medical School
  • Maria Gomez, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mary’s Center
  • Robert Green, Director of G2P Research Program, Brigham and Womenʼs Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Chris Gunter, Director of Research Affairs, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; Owner, Girlscientist Consulting
  • Belen Hurle, Education Specialist, Education and Community Involvement Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute
  • Lucy Kirshner, Content Lead, The Hall of Human Life, Museum of Science, Boston
  • Chris Korey, Director of the First Year Experience, Associate Professor, Biology Department, College of Charleston
  • Neil Lamb, Director of Educational Outreach, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
  • Denise Lautenbach, Genetic Counselor and Project Manager, The MedSeq Project, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • David Margulies, Executive Director, Gene Partnership, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • Jim Morris, pgEd Affiliate; Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Brandeis University
  • Rebecca Nagy, President Elect, National Society of Genetic Counselors
  • Marilyn Ness, Producer/Director, Arts Engine & Necessary Films
  • Amy Nisselle, Multimedia & Evaluation Manager, DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Sheila Nutt, Director, Educational Outreach Programs, Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership, Harvard Medical School
  • Meg Rivers, Exhibit Developer, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Louisa Stark, Director, Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah
  • Paul Szauter, Co-Director, Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity, University of New Mexico
  • Sharon Terry, President & Chief Executive Officer, Genetic Alliance
  • Lauren Tomaselli, Director of Curriculum & Training, pgEd, Harvard Medical School
  • Dana Waring, Education Director, pgEd, Harvard Medical School
  • Amy Wilstermann, Associate Professor, Biology Department, Calvin College
  • Charles Wray, Director of Scientific Resources, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
  • Ting Wu, Director, pgEd; Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School