Thursday, April 22, 2010

Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation sponsors first-ever Genomes, Environments, Traits (GET) Conference

ASHLAND, OR. -- April 22, 2010 -- The Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation announced today that it will cosponsor the first-ever Genomes, Environments, Traits (GET) Conference at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA, on April 27th, 2010. The conference highlights the groundbreaking Personal Genome Project (PGP) which seeks to provide 100,000 participants with details of their own genome. Other conference sponsors include Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Life Technologies Corporation, and Knome, a pioneer in the personal genomics field.

The GET Conference will provide a setting for leaders from diverse industries to share insights and experiences about personal genomics. Personal genomics is a branch of biology where an individual's genome is genotyped and analyzed using bioinformatics tools. It builds upon the work of the U.S. government's Human Genome Project, which decoded a generic human's DNA, by making it personal. Personal genomics promises to revolutionize how healthcare is delivered, enabling medical treatments and drugs to be personalized, based on an individual's unique DNA. It will also change forever how people learn about health risks, ancestry, paternity, and what makes them who they are.

Very few people have their own personal genome sequence, but with technology advancing and costs dropping quickly, that won't be true for long. According to the GET Conference webpage, the conference marks the last chance in history to collect everyone with a personal genome sequence on the same stage.

GET Conference 2010 speakers include:

James Watson, 1962 Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

Esther Dyson, technology journalist and entrepreneur, chair of EDventure Holdings, and board member of 23andMe and

George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, founder of the PGP, and chairman of, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the PGP. Proceeds from the GET Conference 2010 will support

"We are thrilled to be cosponsoring the GET Conference along with much bigger organizations such as Roche and Proctor & Gamble," said Priscilla Oppenheimer, secretary/treasurer of the Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation. "We've been a supporter of the PGP since our founding in 2007."

In 2008, the Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation developed an online study guide to help people participate in the PGP. Those who wish to enroll must pass an entrance exam that tests genetics literacy, informed consent expertise, and knowledge about the rights and responsibilities of human research subjects. The passing score is 100%. The PGP Study Guide helps potential enrollees pass the exam. It is available at

Information about the GET Conference can be found at Information about the Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation can be found at

The Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation based in Ashland, Oregon that seeks to advance humanity through scientific research and education. The foundation can be reached at

1 comment:

  1. Great info! These foundations do so much good. Hope you will blog about the outcome of the gathering.