Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference 2010

February 25, 2010 · Posted in General 

GET2010In the next decade or two, many of us will probably have our personal genomes sequenced. As of now, however, only a few hundred people in the world have had their genomes sequenced at various degrees of coverage although some individuals may have had their genomes sequenced privately. And of these, less than 50 are publicly available including the first ten participants in the Personal Genome Project (PGP-10), an initiative of Harvard Medical School.

The latest people to have their whole genomes sequenced are five southern Africans – four Bushmen hunter-gatherers and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The data generated from these genomes will help supplement current genomic information which primarily focus on European and East Asian populations.

From the New York Times:

African genomes are of particular interest for understanding human genetic history because they have more variation in their DNA than other populations. Everyone outside Africa is descended from a small group that left some 50,000 years ago, carrying away only a small sample of the available genetic diversity.

Although the Bushmen will most likely not be in attendance, on April 27, 2010, members of the PGP-10 will be at the Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference in Cambridge, MA along with James Watson. The aim of the GET Conference is to “collect everyone with a personal genome sequence on the same stage to share their experiences and discuss the important ways in which personal genomes will affect all of our lives in the coming years.”

Only 200 seats total will be sold for this conference and only 32 tickets are remaining at the initial $999 price. Proceeds from the conference will benefit the Personal Genome Project which will be enrolling 100,000 members of the public who agree to share their genome sequence and personal information to further our understanding of genetic and environmental influences on human traits and diseases.

The press release for the GET Conference is below the fold.

Personal Genome Pioneers to Convene at the
Inaugural Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference

Luminaries at landmark gathering to shed light on diverse impact large-scale personal genome sequencing will have on everyday life

BOSTON, Mass. (February 18, 2010) — Worldwide fewer than 20 individuals have had their genomes sequenced and made publicly available, and on Tuesday, April 27, for the first time, nearly all of them will appear together, along with a select group of business leaders and scientific visionaries, to share their experiences and to provide a look ahead at how personal genomics will rapidly and broadly impact society. This historic gathering will take place at the inaugural Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference as part of a day-long thought leadership forum, exploring the myriad ways in which the integration of personalized genomic, environmental and trait information will shape the ways in which we access and interact with our genetic information.

“The GET Conference 2010 marks the last opportunity in history to gather a majority of individuals in the world with public personal genome sequences in a single venue,” says George Church, founder and principal investigator of the Personal Genome Project and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School.  “With rapid advances in technology, the number of individuals with personal genome sequences is expected to rise dramatically, from dozens today to thousands by 2011 and a million or more individuals within the next few years.”

The morning portion of GET Conference 2010 will feature wide-ranging discussions during which personal genome pioneers and globally recognized leaders of genomic science and industry, including Misha Angrist, George Church, Jay Flatley, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Rosalynn Gill, Seong-Jin Kim, Greg Lucier, James Lupski, Stephen Quake, Dan Stoicescu and James Watson, will share their experiences and discuss the future of personal genomics. Award-winning science journalists Carl Zimmer and Robert Krulwich will moderate the discussions.

These experts will re-convene in the afternoon for a series of breakout sessions with other thought leaders and conference participants in a series of intimate discussions focused on the role personal genomes play in understanding ancestry, family life, nutrition, and disease risk, as well as the marketplace for products and services that utilize the analysis of genomic and environmental information, including new drug therapies, consumer products and law enforcement applications.

The afternoon program will additionally showcase:

· Four “prototypes of the future” sessions highlighting the next generation of personalized genomic products, services and activities and moderated by the executive editor of WIRED and author, Thomas Goetz.

· The public debut of the BioWeatherMap initiative, a collaboration between scientists and the public using next-generation sequencing platforms to address the fundamental question: “How diverse is the microbial life around us and how can we use that information to our advantage?”

The GET Conference 2010 will take place on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, Mass. The event will be limited to 200 registrants. To register for the GET Conference 2010, visit

About the GET Conference 2010

The first annual GET Conference will gather 200 scientific, industry and thought leaders in the fields of personal genomics, personalized medicine, microbiomics and systems biology, as well as prominent hedge fund managers, VCs, private investors, and philanthropists, in an intimate venue to consider the present and future of personal genomics.

All proceeds from the GET Conference will benefit, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which supports the Personal Genome Project and whose mission is to serve as a global ambassador for emerging technologies and knowledge that will positively impact the health and well-being of humankind. For more information, visit, or e-mail

Conference sponsors include: Alan & Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation; Knome; Life Technologies; Microsoft; OHO Interactive; Procter & Gamble; Robinson, Bradshaw, & Hinson; Schwartz Communications; and Third Rock Ventures.  Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For more information email:

About the Personal Genome Project

The Personal Genome Project is an open-ended research study that aims to improve the understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to human traits. The project is currently enrolling members of the public who are willing to share their genome sequence and other personal information with the scientific community and the general public. For more information, visit

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Jason Bobe

Nicki Polatin/Benjamin Navon

Schwartz Communications

(781) 684-0770


One Response to “Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference 2010”

  1. Jason Bobe on March 10th, 2010 10:14 am

    “Although the Bushmen will most likely not be in attendance…”

    Don’t speak too soon! We would love to host the participants in the South African Genome Project ( and we are going to make every effort to incorporate them into the program. Would be wonderful. Fingers crossed!


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