OK, so here’s our secret: Olivia and I had only actually met once in real life. That time was during graduate school interviews, back in 2011. But once was apparently enough, and we decided to become friends, keep in touch via phone and Skype, and start this blog. (Is that weird??). But (if that is, in fact, weird) as of last week’s NSGC AEC (Annual Education Conference) in Boston, we have officially met twice… and so we’re less ashamed to call ourselves long-distance-internet friends. Now we’re just normal friends, and we have pictures to prove it.
In regard to the conference, we were both thrilled to not only see each other, but meet other students and professionals in the genetic counseling/medical genetics community. And being in Boston wasn’t too bad, either! The DNA Exchange put together a summary of some of the major emanating themes from the conference, including how we’re keeping pace with new technologies and our abilities to scale our competencies in niche areas.
In particular, I attended a lecture on pharmacogenomics (which Google still flags as a misspelled word because it’s so fancy). The talk highlighted our initial misgivings about genetic counselors’ potential role in the field, but demonstrated how evolving medicine and pharmacology is providing greater than expected opportunities for our skills. This, of course, melds with the increased availability of exome/whole genome sequencing and personalized medicine. Essentially, personalized medicine is about to get a little more personal.
I’ll let Olivia add some more input about the conference and our experiences. And since we have yet to post a single photo of us on this blog, I will now bombard you with 100 all at once.