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Do Our Genetic Profiles Define Us?

Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Lang Cafe, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street New York, NY 10011

Health Challenges for the 21st Century: The Global and National Landscape presents "Do Our Genetic Profiles Define Us?" 

As genomic data continues to be generated, mined, and analyzed, society is becoming increasingly aware of what our genes can, and cannot, tell us about our identities, environments, histories, and futures. Join us as we bring together scholars from bioethics, health psychology, anthropology, and information art/bioart to discuss their recent publications and creative works that provoke discussion around issues of privacy, prediction, choice, and consequence. 

Katayoun Chamany: Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities Leadership Fellow, Associate Professor of Biology, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Participants include: 

Heather Dewey-Hagborg: Information Artist and PhD student in Electronic Arts at RPI and creator of "Stranger Visions"

Robert Klitzman: Professor of Psychiatry in Sociomedical Sciences and Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program and the Director of the Ethics, Policy, and Human Rights Core, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University School of Medicine and author of Am I My Genes?  

Jessica Mozersky: Anthropologist, Mellon Post Doctoral Fellow, The New School and author of Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer and Jewish Identity

Lisa Rubin: Health Psychologist and Chair of the Undergraduate Psychology Program at the New School for Public Engagement and Associate Professor of Psychology, The New School for Social Research, and author of “Individual Models and Genetics: Issues and Information Management in Decision Making, Risk Perceptions, and Health-Protective Behaviors,” In Individuals, Families and the New Era of Genetics: Biopsychosocial Perspectives. 

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Natural Sciences/Math and the Department of Anthropology at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, The Department of Psychology at The New School for Public Engagement, Wellness and Health Promotion in the Office of Student Services at The New School, Gender Studies at The New School, The New School Social Justice Committee, and Genspace.


Katayoun Chamany received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley and currently develops biology curricula using social justice and feminist frameworks. She is an Expert Case Developer for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and the principle investigator of the Stem Cells Across the Curriculum education project funded by the Empire State Stem Cell Board and the NY Department of Health. She is author of the HeLa Cells & HPV Genes: Immortality & Cancer Case Module. She received the University Distinguished Teaching Award at the New School and is currently working on health education projects that incorporate information design to inform decision-making.
Link to Work

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, is an information artist who explores art as research and public inquiry. Traversing media ranging from algorithms to DNA, her work seeks to question fundamental assumptions underpinning perceptions of human nature, technology and the environment. Examining culture through the lens of information, Heather has created “ Stranger Visions” and interdisciplinary work that probes for reflection and discussion of genomic sequencing and profiling. She has shown her work internationally including Poland Mediations Bienniale, Jaaga Art and Technology Center in Bangalor, and the Monitor Digital Festival in Guadalajara, and nationally at the PS1 MOMA, and New Museum, Eyebeam. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Science Magazine, Times of London, and on Public Radio 360, TED, Wired, and Huffington Post.  Her work is funded by many organizations including the National Science Foundation. She received a BA in Information Arts from Bennington College and a MA from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of Arts NYU. She is currently a PhD student at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.
Links to Work:

Robert Klitzman has conducted research and written about a variety of ethical issues in medicine and public health to promote public and professional education concerning these issues. He has written five books, drawing on qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies, and also has written for the New York Times and other publications to improve public understanding of ethical and policy issues concerning public health and medicine.  He is also an active member of the Empire State Stem Cell Ethics Committee. His latest book is Am I My Genes? Link to Work

Jessica Mozersky, is the author of Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer and Jewish Identity (Routledge 2013). She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from University College London, UK, and has previously been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technologies, and a visiting scholar at the Brocher Foundation in Switzerland.  She is a founding member of an international comparative social science BRCA Network, and is co-editing a book of essays on transnational BRCA research and medical practices (forthcoming Routledge). She has managed international multi-centre clinical trials for BRCA carriers and women at increased genetic risk of breast and ovarian cancer. She is currently working on a project regarding new prenatal genetic screening technologies. Link to Work

Lisa Rubin's work spans feminism, social justice, and health psychology, and she is currently working on projects addressing body image, health disparities and reproductive health, has published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals, and is on the editorial board of the journal Women’s Reproductive Health.  She received the University Distinguished Teaching Award at the New School and authored  “Individual Models and Genetics: Issues and Information Management in Decision Making, Risk Perceptions, and Health-Protective Behaviors,” in Individuals, Families and the New Era of Genetics: Biopsychosocial Perspectives. Her current research in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) explores the selection of gamete ‘donors’ by intended parents, concerns regarding anonymity and identity release between gamete providers and recipients, and attitudes towards ART clinic practices among egg providers and recipients. Previously, she was the Principal Investigator of an NIH ELSI funded qualitative study of attitudes toward preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for BRCA1/2.
Link to Work

This event is free, but registration is required.

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