From: The Honorable Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Sent By:

Date: 5/2/2016

Organized by the Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd), Harvard Medical School

In cooperation with the offices of Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter and Senator Elizabeth Warren

May 3, 2016 (12:00 – 1:30 p.m.)
Rayburn House Office Building, The Gold Room, Room 2168
RSVP online or call 617-432-1797; view program agenda online
Open to the public
(Lunch will be provided)
As long-term travel in space comes closer to reality, a key question is how to protect the health of the astronauts who pioneer deep space missions. This briefing will explore the growing interest in genetics as a source of answers. We will open with an introduction by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who will share the agency’s Journey to Mars, and follow with a discussion on some of the physiological challenges of space travel. Then, we will examine the potential of genetics to protect astronauts, leading into a broader discussion of the benefits and societal implications of genetic technologies and underscoring the importance of public awareness and conversation. We are pleased to organize this program on the heels of Astronaut Scott Kelly’s return to Earth following one year aboard the International Space Station.
Dava Newman, PhD, Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Ting Wu, PhD, Director, Consortium for Space Genetics; Director, Personal Genetics Education Project; Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, Deputy Director for Policy and Administration, Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University
12:00  Opening remarks
Welcome (pgEd)
Deep space exploration: visions for the future (Bolden)
12:10  Remarks on Physiological Challenges of Human Space Flight
Astronauts, microgravity, and the impacts of long duration space missions (Newman)
12:25  Remarks on Benefits and Societal Implications of Genetic Technologies
Potential of genetics to protect astronauts (Wu)
New frontiers in genetics, ethics, and society (Kahn)
 1:10  Roundtable discussion 
 1:30  Conclusion
About the organizers:
This briefing will be the fifth in a series from the Personal Genetics Education Project ( The mission of pgEd is to raise awareness of the benefits and implications of personal genetics and make that awareness equally
accessible across all segments of society regardless of socioeconomic, educational, ethnic, religious, or cultural background. Its goal is to instill the confidence in individuals to ask questions, make informed decisions, and respect the opinions of others.

For further information, contact Marnie Gelbart at 617-432-1797 or