Housed in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), we believe that teaching and writing about the use of genetic information in the public domain is an integral part of our work. Founded in 2006, we are a diverse mix of scientists, social scientists, and educators engaging with science policy, curriculum reform, and – more broadly – the ways in which genetic information might transform health care, basic research, insurance, law, and our ideas about family, privacy, and identity.
Ting is involved in all aspects of pgEd, including teaching in high schools, contributing to the online curricula, organizing conferences and Congressional briefings, working with producers and writers in the entertainment industry, developing Map-Ed, and working with communities of faith. Ting is also a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, where her research group studies the manner in which chromosome structure and behavior govern inheritance and genome activity (http://www.homologyeffects.org/). She received her B.A. from Harvard University in Biology and her Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in Genetics. She did her postdoctoral training at Yale University and the Station for Natural Studies, after which she was a Fellow in Molecular Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is now a Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wu has been honored as a recipient of an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award as well as an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award for her studies on chromosome organization, analysis of sequence conservation, and inventions for imaging the genome.
Robin Bowman is the Professional Development Associate at pgEd, focused on the organization’s work with teachers. Robin plans and delivers professional development workshops, classroom visits, and community presentations, which have taken her across the country from Massachusetts and Rhode Island to California, and from Alabama to Nebraska and South Dakota. Recent projects include the “Sex, Genetics and Athletics” lesson, speaking at multiple professional conferences, and spearheading pgEd’s partnership with WETA as educational outreach partner for the April 2020 release of the PBS documentary “The Gene: An Intimate History”. An advocate for inclusion, Robin believes in the power of education and respectful dialogue to foster a more just society. Outside pgEd, Robin is a sports risk management consultant specializing in collegiate recreational sports. In her free time, Robin enjoys exploring New England with her wife and daughter. A native Midwesterner, she’s still trying to develop a taste for seafood.
Marnie Gelbart, Ph.D.
Director of Programs
Marnie has been leading initiatives for increasing awareness and conversation about genetic technologies since 2011. In this role, she organizes Congressional briefings, advises writers and producers of television and film, works with communities of faith, presents at workshops for teachers and community groups. Currently, she is heading up an initiative to form a consortium of genetics institutions to accelerate efforts for achieving awareness across all communities. As PI of a five-year Science Education Partnership Award funded by the National Institutes of Health, Marnie’s recent travels have taken her to Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. In addition, she is site PI for pgEd’s collaborations on NIH-funded projects to The Jackson Laboratory and Stanford University. Marnie currently serves on the Public Education and Awareness Committee of the American Society of Hu¬man Genetics and has held advisory roles for the Genetics Society of America, the National Human Genome Research In¬stitute, and the Smithsonian. Prior to joining pgEd, Marnie was a post-doctoral fellow at Brigham & Women’s Hospital investigating the role of chromosome organization in gene regulation. She received her B.S. in biology from Haverford College and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Mohammed Hannan, M.Sc.
Mohammed’s particular focus as part of pgEd is to raise awareness on personal genetics in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. He helps pgEd organize meetings, seminars, and symposia. He received his M.Sc. in Wildlife Conservation Biology from University of Chittagong, Bangladesh, and was awarded a Global Fellowship at Duke University Marine Laboratory in 2008 to study Sea Turtle and Marine Biodiversity. Currently, he is a Research Assistant in Ting Wu’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Mohammed works with the Oligopaints technology and its potential for visualizing entire genomes of all organisms to unfold their unknown mysteries. As he works with genetic tools and their prospects, Mohammed is eager to increase awareness in faith-based communities and engage them on the topic of personal genetics.
Nadine Vincenten, Ph.D.
Trained as a researcher in cell and molecular biology, Nadine recognizes that the very genetic technologies she applied in the lab will soon touch all of our lives. And for genetics to truly be used for the betterment of everyone in society, she believes that inclusive dialogue to raise awareness about the potential benefits as well as the ethical and social implications of personal genetics is crucial. As a Research Fellow with pgEd, Nadine employs her expertise to research and develop effective educational platforms that bridge the gap between the cutting edge of genetics research, and society at large. Recent projects include significant updates to existing pgEd lesson plans, as well as developing new educational strategies to reach a broader audience with a focus on self-directed, distance learning. To ensure that new educational platforms meet the needs of various communities, Nadine has traveled extensively (though currently solely through a computer screen) to meet with people and have conversations about the impact of personal genetics – with recent events hosted by PBS Books, Nashville Public TV, the American Society of Human Genetics, the Medical University of South Carolina & the Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine, Sinai and Synapsis, and the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. Prior to joining pgEd, Nadine was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University studying chromosome dynamics in mammalian systems. Nadine received her B.Sc. in Liberal Arts and Sciences from UCR at Utrecht University (Netherlands) and her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh (UK). She also completed the Scientists Teaching Science course by Barbara Houtz of STEM Education Solutions LLC, as well as a certificate in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University.
Dana Waring, M.L.A.
Education Director and Co-founder of pgEd
Dana’s role as Education Director includes speaking at national forums, such as the ELSI World Congress and the National Association of Biology Teachers, and developing curriculum to address the emerging questions in personal genetics. Her expertise includes the social, familial and legal landscape in personal genetics, and she has a special interest in health disparities, the genetics of complex traits, and the use of genetics in the criminal justice system. Dana has recently taught professional development courses at HudsonAlpha in Huntsville Alabama and at the K12 Summer Institute convened by Texas A&M. Dana’s training in sociology, history of science, and women’s studies allows her to bring an interdisciplinary approach to her teaching and curricula that includes of a diversity of viewpoints. Recent projects include serving as faculty in the Teaching the Genome Generation course at the Jackson Laboratory and developing curricula such as “Engineering the world around us: Genome editing and the environment” as part of pgEd’s Building Awareness, Respect, and Confidence through Genetics (ARC) grant, awarded through a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of Health. Based in both Massachusetts and Maine, Dana travels extensively as she talks with teachers, students and community members about personal genetics and how it may impact them personally and as a member of society. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University.