About the Organizer

Annual GET Conference events are organized by PersonalGenomes.org, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The mission of PersonalGenomes.org is to make a wide spectrum of data about humans accessible and to increase biological literacy and improve human health. Our programs work to generate, aggregate, and interpret human biological and trait data on an unprecedented scale with open-source, open-access, and open-consent frameworks. Our efforts are informed by values encouraging both greater transparency and collaboration between researchers and participants.

The research culture we are actively working to create brings together a cohort of well-consented and well-characterized participants and a global network of collaboration-minded researchers who are welcoming of expertise from all sources. We think it essential to recognize the ethical and practical challenges that broad data sharing poses to personal privacy and data security. We also want to embrace the opportunities that public data resources create for research, education, innovation, benchmarking and standardization, personal exploration, and improvement of public health.

The Personal Genome Project, or PGP, started in 2005 with a pilot study based at Harvard Medical School. The Harvard PGP launched with ten fully identified individuals, known as the "PGP-10," and has since enrolled more than 3000 participants! The PGP global network has since expanded to include sites in four countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, which launched in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

 

History of the GET Conference

The timing of the annual GET conference is no accident. The GET Conference is planned each year to occur near the end of April to coincide with World DNA Day, a holiday celebrating the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the 1953 conclusion of James Watson and Francis Crick that DNA molecules have a 3D double helix structure.

The topics covered by the GET Conferences have included:

The first annual GET Conference was held on April 27, 2010 in Boston, MA at the Microsoft NERD campus. The success of this inaugural gathering, focused on personal perspectives of more than a dozen genome pioneers, was captured in snapshots and twitter feeds.

The second annual GET Conference was held on April 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA at the brand new Translational Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This symposium focused on next generation DNA sequencing technologies and their applications, and George Church was honored as the recipient of the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science.

The third annual GET Conference was held on April 25, 2012 in Cambridge, MA at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at the Harvard Medical School. It featured a plenary session on “N=1: Pioneers of self-tracking,” a series of exciting flash talks, and vignettes on “exceptional human traits” (such as face blindness and perfect pitch).

The fourth annual GET Conference was held on April 25-26, 2013 in downtown Boston, MA at the Back Bay Events Center and celebrated the 60th anniversary of the double helix discovery. It featured an engaging plenary panel on “choosing to be a human reference standard” as well as inspiring talks on changing the research paradigm (such as Sharon Terry, President of Genetic Alliance, clarifying that transition from “N=Them” to “N=We” needs the transition step of “N=Me”) and broadening the audience (such as Ideo’s Rodrigo Martinez, who underscored the importance of the intersection of biology and design because individuals experience science as products, services, and spaces).

The fifth annual GET Conference is being planned for April 2014 in Boston, MA.

 

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Contact

Email: info@getconference.org