2020 Archive

Fall 2020

October 15th: What is it Like to Be Anything?
Atom Lesiak, PhD (GS)

In this Genomics Salon we’re going to dig into the subjective experience of conscious experience, inspired by Thomas Nagel’s 1974 essay “What is it Like to be a Bat?”. Salonhost, Atom Lesiak Ph.D. Neuroscience, identifies as a transgender and genderqueer (both and neither of the binary genders), and will frame the discussion around gender theory, asking critical questions like, “What is it Like to be a Man/Woman?” and “How can we measure gender?”. Please arrive to the space with an open-mind and the understanding that in this learning space everyone will come with different backgrounds and lived experiences. We will do our best to be inclusive of all folk regardless of their familiarity with the subject matter.

October 29th: The Inventor movie night
Bryce Taylor, PhD (GS)

Join us for a movie night feature The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. This film covers the recent history of biotech darling Theranos and its charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes, from startup beginnings to dramatic fall after allegations of fraud. After the film we will discuss the events, as well as how positive and negative aspects of academic, venture capital, and journalist cultures collided throughout the story.
We will use the Scener app to watch the film simultaneously. Please install the app prior to our session. We will send more information on how to join closer to the event. Participants will also need an active HBO Max account to watch along. A 7-day free trial is available through their website.

November 12th: The complexities and effects of diversifying genomic data
Alyna Khan (Public Health Genetics)

How race, ethnicity, and ancestry are used and reported in human genomics research has wide-ranging implications for how it is translated into clinical care, reported in the media, incorporated into public understanding, and implemented in public policy. As the genomics research community strives to diversify genomic data, it is crucial to be rigorous about genetic and non-genetic measures and their relevance to ancestry and health to avoid misappropriation of science to support racist beliefs. The Race and Genetics Discussion group of the Genetic Analysis Center (GAC) in UW’s Biostatistics Department developed a set of guidelines to help investigators navigate the challenges of using socially and genetically defined groups in genetic analyses of diverse populations. As efforts to diversify genetics research increase, we must develop scientific language and methodology that illuminate and celebrate the continuum of human difference without infusing our findings with outdated, racist notions.  
Guidelines on the use and reporting of race, ethnicity, and ancestry in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program

November 30 – December 7: Fermentation station
Michael Goldberg and Michelle Noyes (Genome Sciences)

Toot toot! All aboard the yeast (s)train! We’ll lead a series of workshops on how to brew your own ginger beer at home. No prior fermentation experience or special equipment required. Register in advance (more information to come).

December 3rd: Medical racism
Jennifer Tsai, MEd, MD (Yale Emergency Medicine) and Naomi Nkinsi (UW SoM)

Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a calculation used in medicine to assess overall kidney function and determine whether a patient needs therapeutic intervention for kidney failure. The calculation uses race as a predictive variable, regardless of its imprecision or disproportionate impact on the health of Black individuals. In this salon, we will discuss this trainee-directed effort to remove race from eGFR calculations and the broader context of deeply rooted racism in biomedicine.