Jill Davies, Genetic Counsellor and Director of Genetics, Medcan Clinic, Stephen Scherer, Senior Scientist, Department Genetics and Genomic Biology, SickKids Hospital; Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto in Canada, and Discussion Leader: Carolyn Abraham, Author of Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain, introduce the Candian Personal Genome Project.
Carolyn Abraham is an award-winning science journalist in Canada, and author of Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain, published in seven countries. The long-time senior medical writer for the Globe and Mail, she is the four-time winner of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association’s annual award for her reporting and winner of two National Newspaper Awards. She wrote the chapter on the SARS outbreak in Canada the request of the World Health Organization, co-wrote the National Film Board production entitled DNA and Dollars and appeared in the National Geographic documentary on Einstein’s brain that was broadcast in fourteen countries. In her latest book, The Juggler’s Children: A Journey into Family, Legend, and the Genes that Bind Us, Carolyn tells the personal story of using genetic tests to solve two family mysteries. It is published in Canada this spring. She lives with her family in Toronto.
Jill Davies is a Genetic Counsellor and Director of Genetics at the Medcan Clinic, the largest preventive healthcare clinic in North America. With over 10 years of experience in genetic counselling, Jill works in partnership with Geneticist Dr. Lea Velsher to develop and deliver leading-edge preventive genetic services at Medcan. During her years in practice, she has provided a range of genetic services, from classical genetics to genomics. Her special interest is in the role of genetics in primary care and preventive medicine. Her focus is to bring the most advanced genetics knowledge to individuals to help them optimize health and manage risk for disease. Jill is a co-investigator on the Personal Genome Project, Canada and was the first Canadian to have her whole genome sequenced through this project. Jill received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counselling from the University of Manchester, UK. She is a Canadian board certified genetic counsellor and an active member of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors (CAGC) and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).
Stephen W. Scherer, PhD, DSc, FRSC is known for contributions to discovering the phenomena of global copy number variation (CNVs) of DNA and genes as the most abundant type of genetic variation in the human genome, Dr. Scherer leads one of Canada's busiest laboratories. His group has discovered numerous disease susceptibility genes and most recently has defined CNV and other genetic factors underlying autism. He collaborated with Craig Venter's team to decode human chromosome 7 and to generate the first genome sequence of an individual. Some 300 scientific papers document his work (cited >20,000 times). Professor Scherer holds the GlaxoSmithKline-Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Genetics and Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto.
Stephen Scherer, Senior Scientist in Genetics at SickKids Hospital, reports that research shows common diseases to be related to collections of genetic disorders which could change how doctors find and treat them.