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Below are excerpts from the winners with links to the full essays. We hope this contest marks the beginning of a robust conversation about the future of genetics in medicine among those who participate in our new Student Program. On top of winning a free 23andMe DNA kit and a $100 Amazon gift card, 23andMe will donate $300 to a group on their campus that will host an event focused on discussing genetics and digital health.
Having familiarity with this rapidly advancing science will be crucial for those pursuing careers in medicine. From the entries it’s clear that medical students today know how important genetics has already become and the issues that they will face during their careers.
“Many essays underscored the importance and clinical utility of cancer genomics and carrier testing,” said Esther Kim, Pharm. D., who heads up 23andMe’s education efforts. “Others articulated cases for using personal genomics to enhance family medical history, disease prevention strategies and clinical decision support systems.”
Sixty years after Watson and Crick revealed the structure of DNA and ten years after the completion of the Human Genome Project, the ability to routinely analyze individual genomes is rapidly revolutionizing the practice of medicine. However, many experts express concerns over today’s medical practitioners lacking the rudimentary knowledge and skills to integrate personal genomics into patient care and to contextualize the information to patients.
23andMe hopes to improve genetic literacy among consumers as well as medical professionals and our new Student Program will provide ongoing learning opportunities for those pursuing a career in medicine. Program participants will receive regular scientific updates on what’s new in the field of personal genomics, and they can also interact with their peers on our LinkedIn student-only forum to share their own ideas about personal genomics.
DNA Day Student Essay Winners