Is the Holy Grail of modern medicine, Genomics?
Genomics is the study of all of a person's genes (the genome), including interactions of those genes with each other and with the person's environment*. While it has significantly altered the way researchers, scientists and clinicians develop diagnostics, therapeutic strategies and treatment options, it has also raised a the concern of inequality.
Lineage, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status have always incited disparities in health care. With the increased application of technology in healthcare, is Genomics the new perpetrator? Just as AI bias in facial recognition highlights the unregulated autonomy exerted by new technologies, is the genetic clustering of populations to identify disease-linked biomarkers benefiting only the focus group represented in the databases? There is no doubt that the application of genomic testing has helped further precision and personalized treatment of patients. It has provided avenues to innovative approaches to achieve clinical efficacy. However has there been enough emphasis put on inclusive representation when databases are built?
Join our panelists Assoc Prof Joanne Ngeow (Clinician, LKC, NTU) and Asst Prof Ian McGonigle (Social Anthropologist, HASS, NTU) as they discuss, the many implications of ‘Genomics and the New Inequalities’. The session will be moderated by Prof Vanessa Evers (Director, NISTH) and Assoc Prof Hallam Stevens (Assoc Director, NISTH).