Opportunities and Challenges in Interpreting and Sharing Personal Genomes.

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Genes (Basel)


The 2019 "Personal Genomes: Accessing, Sharing and Interpretation" conference (Hinxton, UK, 11-12 April 2019) brought together geneticists, bioinformaticians, clinicians and ethicists to promote openness and ethical sharing of personal genome data while protecting the privacy of individuals. The talks at the conference focused on two main topic areas: (1) Technologies and Applications, with emphasis on personal genomics in the context of healthcare. The issues discussed ranged from new technologies impacting and enabling the field, to the interpretation of personal genomes and their integration with other data types. There was particular emphasis and wide discussion on the use of polygenic risk scores to inform precision medicine. (2) Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications, with emphasis on genetic privacy: How to maintain it, how much privacy is possible, and how much privacy do people want? Talks covered the full range of genomic data visibility, from open access to tight control, and diverse aspects of balancing benefits and risks, data ownership, working with individuals and with populations, and promoting citizen science. Both topic areas were illustrated and informed by reports from a wide variety of ongoing projects, which highlighted the need to diversify global databases by increasing representation of understudied populations.


Institute for Systems Biology