Baylor College of Medicine


Evenings with Genetics: Race and Genetics

Molly Chiu


Houston, TX -

Do racial categories obscure our genetic similarities and differences? How do we quantify ancestry and is it important in precision medicine? This month, Baylor College of Medicine is hosting two Evenings with Genetics webinars to address these questions and other issues involving race and genetics.

The webinars will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. CST. Both sessions will address the role of race in genetic research and clinical care, as well as racial justice and bioethics in precision medicine.

“This series focused on race and Black history is exciting and timely,” said Dr. Debra Murray, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor and co-organizer of the event. “The invited speakers will bring to light several areas where genetics has been influenced by race. In order to pursue social justice, we must ensure science without bias. People with non-European ancestry should not be prevented from enjoying the promise of precision medicine.”

“The 15th anniversary of this series is the perfect opportunity to offer our community these discussions on the perception of race as we strive to ensure precision medicine is available to all,” said Susan Fernbach, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor and co-organizer of the event.

Panelists on Feb. 9 include Dr. Charmaine Royal, professor of African & African American studies, biology, global health and family medicine and community health at Duke University, Dr. Clayton Yates, professor in the Department of Biology and Center for Cancer Research at Tuskegee University, and Shawneequa Callier, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Panelists on Feb. 16 include Dr. Rick Kittles, professor and director of the Division of Health Equities in the Department of Population Sciences at City of Hope, Dr. Charmita Hughes-Halbert, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Medical University of South Carolina, and patient advocate J.H. Jones.

The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants. For more information, call 713-798-8407 or visit the event registration pages for Feb. 9 and Feb. 16. Videos of both sessions will be available online here at a later date.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, the Office of Community Engagement & Health Equity, the Human Genome Sequencing Center and Baylor Genetics.

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