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 leads pgEd’s curriculum development efforts and our 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 led a range of initiatives at pgEd, including creating curricula and training teachers as PI on an NIH-funded project, partnering with communities of faith, and organizing Congressional briefings. Her most recent projects include collaborations with the ASL Education Center, the Genetics Society of America, and bioethicists at The Center for ELSI Resources & Analysis. In addition, Marnie has advised educational efforts at the American Society of Human Genetics, the National Human Genome Research Institute, 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.
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 Synapses, 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.