The Future is Now: Using whole Genome Sequence Information in Clinical Medicine

Thursday, 15. September 2011 | 10:30 Uhr


Robert Green


Harvard University


At the beginning of his presentation, Professor Robert Green, Harvard University, raised several questions that are crucial for him: Should genetic risk information be communicated? Will it cause anxiety, depression or distress? Will the information be understood? And will the insight change the baseline risk perceptions? Green expressed his conviction that outcomes of genetic sequencing confront the affected people with information they cannot or only hardly handle. One example for this is a study on patients with APOE genotypes that might increase the risk of Alzheimer disease. Individuals, who were confronted with an increased probability to suffer from the Alzheimer disease in the future, developed more symptoms of depression. Even though their psychical health worsened, the majority of the patients would have repeated the tests although there are no treatments for Alzheimer. Studies with other phenotypes would have yielded similar results.

Robert Green

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH is a medical geneticist with a research focus in translational genomics and health outcomes. He directs the NIH-funded REVEAL Study, in which a cross-disciplinary team has conducted 4 separate multi-center randomized clinical trials collectively enrolling 1100 individuals to explore emerging themes in translational genomics.

Dr. Green also co-directs the first NIH-funded prospective study of personal genome services and leads the Brigham-Harvard Medical School team in a new NIH initiative to explore process and outcomes in clinical use of whole genome sequencing.

He is a member of the NIH-funded Workgroup on Incidental Findings in genetic research, a Board Member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a member of the Informed Cohort Oversight Boards for both the Children’s Hospital Boston Gene Partnership Program and the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative.

Dr. Green is currently Associate Director for Research of the Partners Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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