DNA Fest Highlights Utah Genetics, Precision Medicine

On July 9, the Natural History Museum of Utah will host a DNA Fest presented in part by Utah Genome Project and USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery investigators. With hands-on activities, families are invited to explore the genome and genetic traits, and learn what they are and how they are advancing medicine and technology today. On that day, members of communities from across the Wasatch Front will be brought to the museum, and translators will walk them through the exhibits in their native languages.

The festival will feature a lecture and panel discussion at 2:00 p.m. on precision medicine, a genetics-powered health directive supported by the White House aimed at bringing the right medicine to the right person at the right time. There will be a  30-minute presentation on the Precision Medicine Initiative and what that means for Americans, followed by a panel discussion with genetics experts at the University of Utah

Will Dere, M.D., F.A.C.P. - Executive Director of the Program in Personalized Health, with a goal of customizing treatments to the individual patient

Karin Dent, M.S., C.G.C.  - Genetics counselor who researches ethical challenges associated with genomics research.

Steven Bleyl, M.D., Ph.D. - Researches the genetic basis for congenital heart defects.

Joshua Schiffman, M.D. - Pediatric oncologist who is investigating novel cancer treatment strategies.

Sean Tavtigian, Ph.D. - Researches the genetics of cancer.

In addition, on August 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., Eric Green, Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute will give a free lecture on precision medicine, “Human Genomics, Precision Medicine, and Advancing Human Health”. Please register to attend.

The public events are being held in conjunction with an interactive, traveling exhibit, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code”, that explores the mysteries of the genome - the complete set of instructions every living thing needs to function. The Natural History Museum of Utah exhibit features Utah’s unique and valuable contributions to advances in genomics and precision medicine.

noCustom displays explain the genesis of the Utah Population Database (UPDB), rooted in Utah’s culture of family and collecting deep family histories. Today, the largest database of its kind, UPDB represents over 8 million members connected to 23 million records, working as a magnifying glass to uncover inherited mutations that cause disease. The Utah Genome Project is leveraging UPDB to investigate genetic contributions to dozens of conditions from cancers to heart disease to healthy aging. The USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery is innovating technologies to mine secrets from our genetic code; an interactive exhibit allows museum visitors to give it a try themselves.

Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code will run through September 5, 2016.


Unlocking life's code