23andMe DNA Day Essay Contest

(Editor’s note: 23andMe has extended the deadline for the DNA Day Essay Contest to April, so if you haven’t yet get your essay in.)

Our growing understanding of genetics is reshaping medicine. Having familiarity with this rapidly advancing science will be crucial for those pursuing careers in medicine.dnablocks(iStock)

To help future healthcare professionals who may have limited exposure to the field of genomics, 23andMe will launch a new Student Community on April 25th, which appropriately is also DNA Day. This community is for medical, nursing, pharmacy and other students in the healthcare profession interested in personal genetics and personalized medicine.

To kick it off all off, 23andMe is having a DNA Day Essay contest for medical students. We want you to tell us why you think personal genetics matters to medicine.

Summary of Contest Rules
• No entry fee, and no limit on entries per person.
• The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a medical school in the U.S. Essays must be in Word doc. format, double-spaced and maximum 750 words. Each essay must include the participant’s email address.
• Essays must include at least one reference, but no more than three.
• Work previously published will not be considered.
• All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on March 31, April 11, 2014, to be eligible. Go here for a complete description of the rules. Email questions about the contest to DNAday2014contest@23andme.com.

Recently the online newsletter, Genetic Engineering & Biology News (GEN), listed ten reasons why the human genome matters for medicine.

There are many reasons why genetic information matters, but we want you to choose from this list one point to write about. In your essay tell us why genetics matters. Tell us the promise and perils using this information presents for the care of patients. Essays will be judged on the depth of your understanding, the clarity of your argument, it’s relevancy to clinical care and your writing.

Each of the three winners selected will receive a 23andMe DNA kit and a $100 Amazon gift card. Winning essays will be featured in a future 23andMe blog post.  In addition, for winners who can also identify a legitimate student interest group on campus that is focused on genetics and digital health, 23andMe will gift that group $300 to host an event to bring attention to these same issues.  Everyone with a qualifying entry will get a free 23andMe t-shirt.

Entering is simple.  Write your essay, fill out the 23andMe DNA Day Contest Registration Form here and submit your essay as an attachment.

Winners will be announced in the 23andMe blog post on the week of April 23rd.