Dr. Brian Skotko, M.D., M.P.P. Asks How Will You Confront Your Genetic Destiny?

“Our New Age of Prenatal Genetic Testing: Lessons from Down Syndrome” is the subject of keynote speaker Dr. Brian Skotko, M.D., M.P.P., co-director of Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Program and leading authority on medical genetics, including prenatal testing and Down Syndrome. Dr. Skotko will speak on Thursday, November 7 at the Merrimack College Brave New Biology Symposium at  3:00 p.m. in Cascia Hall.  Students, faculty, staff and friends are all invited to attend.

Dr. Skotko has dedicated his professional energies toward children with cognitive and development disabilities.  In 2001, he co-authored the national award-winning book, Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome and, most recently, Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters.  He is a graduate of Duke University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Kennedy School.  Dr. Skotko recently authored major research on how physicians deliver a diagnosis of Down Syndrome to new and expectant parents.  He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, NPR’s “On Point,” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”  Dr. Skotko serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and Band of Angels Foundation.  He also serves on the Professional Advisory Committee for the National Center for Prenatal and Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources [Taken from his website].  Dr. Skotko was recently seen on the news discussing Dr. Jeanne Lawrence’s Down Syndrome scientific breakthrough silencing one of three copies of chromosome 21 in mouse cells. More about Dr. Skotko and his work can be found at www.brianskotko.com/ and at www.massgeneral.org/children/services/down-syndrome/brian-skotko-md-mpp.aspx Dr. Skotko’s address comes on day two of Brave New Biology, a two-day Symposium.  Day one features a Discussion Panel, “Perils and Promise of Human DNA Testing” on November 6 at 3:30 p.m. in Cascia Hall.  Dr. Janine LeBlanc-Straceski, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences, will act as moderator.  Panelists include: Mark Allman, Ph.D., Department of Religious and Theological Studies; Gabriella Angelini ’14, Pfizer Fellow; Rev. Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A., Ph.D., Vice President for Mission and Student Affairs; and Warren Kay, Ph.D., Department of Religious and Theological Studies. The panel will discuss the implications of genetic testing on society. Day one also features a film presentation of “Gattaca” starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke at 7:00 p.m. in Augie’s Pub.  This is an all ages event and is open to all. This is a lecture and symposium you will not want to miss! ###


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