“You: A Novel Gene Story” with the Jesup and The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and the Jesup are teaming up again for a great series of talks about genetics! “You: A Novel Gene Story” explores personal genomics, which involves the sequencing, analysis and interpretation of a person’s genome. The genome is the complete set of genes that helps to influence health and the way we look, and can provide clues to our origins and identity.
This series is part of “Primary Source” an annual collaboration between the Jesup Memorial Library and JAX featuring a series of programs about genetics. Previous series in this collaboration include “Genetic Stories: A Film and Discussion Series” in 2016 and “Genetic Tails: Discover Your Dog’s Ancestry” in 2017. 
Tues., June 12 at 7 p.m. 
“The Expanding World of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests” with Dr. Charlie Wray
Dr. Wray, Director of Courses and Conferences at JAX, will talk about the different genetic tests you can do at home. His talk will feature information about the different kinds of genetic tests, what they can tell you about your health and ancestors, what they cannot tell you, and why different tests might give you different results. Dr. Wray has more than 20 years of educational and research experience across a range of topics in genetics and genomics. At JAX, he is updating existing courses, launching new programs and running a multi-state teacher professional development program.

Tues., July 10 at 7 p.m. 
“Personal Genomics: The Promise and Peril of the Genomic Dream” with Dr. Jessica Miller
It is cheaper and easier than ever to analyze one or many of a person’s 20,000 genes, obtaining information about ancestry, and information to help diagnose, manage and treat genetic disorders. But with new genomic technology comes new ethical issues for individuals and societies. Join us for a conversation about commercial genomics and ethics with Dr. Jessica Miller, clinical ethicist at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Chair of Philosophy, and Associate Dean for Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine.

Tues., July 24 at 7 p.m. 
“Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative” with Dr. Jens Reuter, Dr. Carol Bult and Dr. Andrey Antov
Speakers from JAX will provide an overview of the science behind genomic medicine in cancer and will provide an overview of The Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI), including how patients could gain access to the services, through their physician. The MCGI is a collaborative program of The Jackson Laboratory and the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. With an $8.4 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the MCGI supports JAX efforts to enhance cancer diagnostics and treatment in Maine. The goal of MCGI is to provide Maine cancer patients and their doctors access to precision medicine, which aims to personalize cancer treatment on the basis of a patient’s unique genome. The JAX panelists will include Carol Bult, Ph.D., Professor and Knowlton Family Chair, Jens Reuter, M.D., Medical Director, MCGI, and Andrey Antov, Ph.D., MBA, Program Director, MCGI.

Tues., Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. 
“Personal Genetics and Addiction” with Dr. Vivek Kumar and Dr. Elissa Chesler 
Dr. Kumar and Dr. Chesler from JAX both work to explore how genetics and addiction are related. Dr. Kumar works to pinpoint genetic variants that increase susceptibility to addiction. By understanding the biological reasons some people are at greater risk for addiction, Dr. Kumar hopes to find new ways to prevent people from being addicted and get help for those who are already addicted and need help now. Dr. Chesler researches the genetics underlying behavior and is pinpointing the relationships among behavioral traits. Her research has led to a gene library for researchers around the world, where they can mine archived genetic data for new insights into alcoholism and addiction research.

Tues., Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. 
“Analysis of Human Genomics on a Massive Scale” with Dr. Steve Munger
Join Dr. Munger for the final talk in this series. Dr. Munger and his team combine experimental and computational methods with advanced mouse mapping populations to solve complex genetic puzzles.