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ELSI Virtual Forum

Integrating ELSI and Genomics: Past, Present and Future (Keynote)


In 1990, the first Program Announcement for the ELSI Program solicited research proposals across nine domains in the intersection between human genetics and society. The idea was to sponsor research that anticipated the issues that might arise with the detailed mapping of our chromosomes that the Human Genome Project promised, to ensure that society could prepare itself for what was to come. In this Keynote, Drs. Eric Juengst, Pilar Ossorio, and Eric Green will delve into the past, present, and future of ELSI integration in genomics.

Dr. Juengst will begin by tracing the history of the ELSI Program, offering one observer’s take on how the genomics community’s ELSI experiment became self-reflective and how the need arose for the even broader interdisciplinary integration that characterizes ELSI research today.

Dr. Ossorio will then explore ELSI integration in the present day, highlighting the ways the ELSI concept has expanded beyond the genomics community and beyond the NIH. She will use this expansion to reflect on ELSI’s development within the genomics community and to reflect on whether central tensions in the ELSI concept have been adequately resolved or need to be continually renegotiated within and beyond the genomics community.

Lastly, Dr. Green will take us into the future by exploring the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) new strategic plan, which is to be published in October 2020. The significant advances in genomics since the NHGRI’s last strategic plan in 2011 demonstrated the need to once more engage the community in a new round of planning for an updated vision about the future of genomics. The new plan will detail the most compelling areas of genomics research and their application to human health and disease and will inform NHGRI’s scientific priorities, ensuring that the Institute continues to be a driving force at the Forefront of Genomics.

The Keynote will wrap up with an interactive discussion and Q&A session, moderated by Dr. Amy McGuire.


Speakers: Eric Juengst, PhD; Pilar Ossario, JD, PhD; Eric Green, MD, PhD

Moderator: Amy McGuire, JD, PhD

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