The emergence and growth of whole-genome sequencing technologies, and the resulting immense database generated, requires that scientists and medical professionals learn more about the powerful tools available to them. These tools give scientists the ability to interpret and apply genetic information. As these technologies become more readily available, they bolster the power of personalized medicine and facilitate drug discovery.
A plethora of genomic conferences is available for medical science professionals to share their knowledge and learn more about genome technologies and the world of genomic science and medicine. These conferences range from the incredibly specific to the multi-disciplinary.
The best genomic conferences provide opportunities and resources to greatly increase working knowledge and help biomedical scientists to stay current on the latest research advances. This provides information and experience that can bolster the advancement of health and medicine. Here are five Psomagen's favorite genomic conferences that meet these very important criteria:
1. The Human Genome Meeting (HGM)
The Human Genome Meeting (HGM) was held in the US for the first time in 2016. This conference is rich with knowledge, collaboration, and presentation of areas focusing on medical translation and the application of genomics approaches in all facets of medical delivery, including diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease and cancer. It is interdisciplinary, drawing expertise from many fields. In 2022, the program included sessions on:
- The link between the microbiome and the genome
- Genetic databases' impact on medicine
- AI in health and medicine
- Genomic ethics
Organized by the Human Genome Organization, the HGM is one of the largest and well-attended international meetings that focus on genomics as it relates to disease and personalized medicine. This meeting not only features presentations and lectures, but provides workshops focusing on subject matter such as the interpretation of clinical and cancer genomes and functional genomics. The Human Genome Meeting covers topics from genome editing using CRISPR-CAS systems and cancer precision medicine to genetic therapies for rare diseases.
2. The Festival of Genomics & Biodata
The Festival of Genomics & Biodata is another large global genomics meeting. Their first US-based conference, in 2015 in Boston, had outstanding speakers like J. Craig Venter, George Church, and Michael Snyder. The 2023 conference promises to provide key insights into:
- Biodata and multi-omics approaches
- Clinical and cancer genomics
- Single-cell and spatial analysis
- Liquid biopsy
This meeting is structured with unique focus group settings, such as the “flying saucer of genomics chat,” stream themes, and “TechForums.” Worldwide industry leaders and subject matter experts converge to discuss the latest advances in genomic technologies and their applications in genomic science and medicine. At past conferences, DNA artistry was even shared through a musical recording by the Kreutzer Quartet encoded into DNA by Dr. Nick Goldman and the artist and filmmaker Charlotte Jarvis.
Many Festival guests are eligible to attend the conference free of charge if they work for a university, pharma company, or not-for-profit healthcare organization. In 2024, they have two meetings: a US-based and UK-based event.
3. Lorne Genome Conference
Combining medical genomics, disease genomics, epigenetics sessions, and workshops on bioinformatics technology, the Lorne Genome Conference in Australia is another high-impact globally recognized genome conference. World leaders from research centers, hospitals, and universities gather and collaborate to present cutting-edge knowledge in areas such as transcriptomics, epigenomics, and population genetics. Practical workshops that demonstrate the integration of bioinformatics in NGS team efforts have also been featured.
The sessions confront issues regarding the investigation of rare variants in long-known genetic diseases that continue to elude the medical treatment arena. The recent conference that took place in February of 2022 covered an interesting variety of subject matter from comparative genomics, computational biology, and developmental Genetics to transcriptional networks.
4. American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting
The ASHG annual meeting features research presentations, workshops, and discussions on many aspects of human genetics. The American Society of Human Genetics works to advance human genetics in health, science, and society as a whole. Their annual meeting is a chance to understand not only breakthroughs in genomic research, but genomics in relation to public policy.
The 2022 meeting included presentations on genome interpretation and mapping technologies, spatial genomics, immunity, Alzheimer's research, and much more. ASHG meetings always have a heavy focus on new technologies and research breakthroughs.
5. European Society for Human Genetics (ESHG) Annual Meeting
The ESHG has a mission to responsibly use advancements in genetics. They offer opinions on the use of genetics technology, including topics such as the genetic testing of minors and the use of WGS in routine healthcare. The society regularly communicates with the EU commission, scientific organizations, and biotech companies, remaining extremely in-touch with current events as they relate to genetic technologies and research.
ESHG also publishes The European Journal of Human Genetics, which appears in monthly installations. 2022 marked their 55th meeting in Vienna, Austria. Presentations included topics such as:
- In vivo gene editing
- Personalized medicine
- Ethical and legal implications of genetics
- Genetics in diverse populations