When Virtual seminar on Thursday 28 July 2022, 8am – 8.50am
Where Online. Link will be provided in the invite.
Registration Registration is free and available here.
Our DNA dialogue seminar for July, “The Aotearoa Variome Project: Principles and Practice”, features Professor Stephen Robertson and Associate Professor Phil Wilcox from Genomics Aotearoa in New Zealand.
Māori genomes are virtually absent from databases used by clinicians and researchers worldwide. The need to build a catalogue of genomic variation to underpin genomic medicine for Māori is self-evident but its governance, control and the uses to which it will be put to are all issues that Māori have voiced an insistence that have a central voice.
Professor Robertson and Associate Professor Wilcox will outline how this project was conceived, designed and executed and offer perspectives on how it could serve Māori throughout Australasia and the Pacific.
About the speakers
Professor Stephen Robertson has been the Curekids Professor of Paediatric Genetics at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand since 2002. He specialised in Paediatrics and then subspecialised in Clinical Genetics after training in Auckland and Melbourne. He held a Nuffield Medical Fellowship at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University, studying the genetic basis of a set genetic disorders characterized by severe, life-limiting malformations in children, before taking up his current position. His work in this area has led to the implication of several genes, in the generation of malformations in children, with a particular focus on conditions that affect the skeleton and brain. He has an active interest in promoting equitable access to and performance of clinical genomics across Aotearoa New Zealand. Professor Robertson is an active clinical geneticist in addition to directing the Laboratory for Genomic Medicine within the Dunedin School of Medicine.
Associate Professor Phillip Wilcox has iwi affiliations as Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, and Rongomaiwahine. He is an Associate Professor in the University of Otago’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, with experience in applied genomics and statistical genetics. He is also an Affiliate of the University of Otago’s Bioethic Centre. For almost 20 years he has worked in the interface of genetic sciences and Te Ao Māori, and co-leads two genomics-based projects focussing on Māori health. He teaches tikanga-based frameworks in science courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as statistics and quantitative genetics, and teaches genetics-related content to pre-NCEA high school students in marae-based learning environments in the University of Otago’s Science Wānanga initiative. He is currently a member of the Health Research Council of New Zealand’s Ethics Committee which oversees institutional and regional ethics committees.
About DNA dialogue
With the wealth of genomic expertise internationally, we hope this seminar series will be a forum for members of the genomics community in Australia and beyond to learn of new developments in health genomics, and the overseas experience.
The topics will be diverse, including data sharing, ethics, carrier screening, cancer genomics, genomics in emerging health systems, and more.
DNA dialogue seminars will be held live via zoom on the last Thursday of each month at 8am (AEST). Registration is open to anyone working in, or impacted by, medical genomics. You can register for the event here and we encourage you to spread the word about this series.
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