The Autism Speaks science and advocacy departments presented a briefing on Capitol Hill for Congressional Members and their staff on “The Human Genome and Precision Medicine: Research Developments in Precision Medicine and Autism.” The event was held in coordination with the Congressional Coalition on Autism Research and Education.
The briefing began with a legislative update by Representative Chris Smith who co-chairs the caucus with Representative Mike Doyle. The event provided information on the latest research developments in precision medicine, which intersect with the legislation that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, HR 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, and is under consideration through the Senate HELP committee’s biomedical innovation agenda, as well as the precision medicine initiative.
Autism Speaks Interim Chief Science Officer Mathew Pletcher, briefed attendees on the ongoing progress of the Autism Speaks MSSNG project, a historic collaboration that has already developed the world’s largest genome database on autism. David Glazer, director of engineering at Google also presented on the vast resource of genetic information that MSSNG is making openly accessible to researchers worldwide on the Google Cloud Platform, along with state-of-the-art, web-based tools to analyze the data.
Other presentations and panelists included John Quackenbush, professor of computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Harvard University and Co-Founder of Genospace; Dr. Joni L. Rutter, PhD, Director, NIH Division of Programs & Strategic Implementation, Precision Medicine Initiative® Cohort Program. The panel was moderated by Stuart Spielman, senior policy advisor and counsel at Autism Speaks.