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Biochemistry Seminar: Professor Andrew Shelling, Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland

Genetic testing to detect risk for conditions like certain cancers, and cardiac or neurological conditions, can save lives through early preventative interventions and/or improved targeted therapy.

For diseases like inherited breast and ovarian cancer, a single mutation in a BRCA1/2 gene can run within families and predispose individuals to a high likelihood of developing cancer at a young age. Early screening and detection, and prophylactic surgery, can dramatically reduce cancer risk.

Currently, New Zealand insurance companies are legally allowed to ask for and use applicants’ genetic test results in underwriting decisions. This often leads to genomic discrimination, where insurers increase premiums or deny cover to applicants on the basis of these results. There is considerable evidence, internationally, that individuals often decline medical genetic testing or participation in genomic research studies because of fears of genomic discrimination.

As a result, a group of New Zealand clinicians, academics, scientists, lawyers, and representatives from Māori, Pacifica, medical charities and patient groups have formed a collaborative alliance, known as “Against Genomic Discrimination Aotearoa”, or AGenDA, to address these issues. AGenDA recommends that a complete ban on the use of genomic information by insurance companies is necessary for the advancement of genomic medicine and the protection of all New Zealanders.

Streaming details:

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 977 5670 4741
Password: bioc

Date Tuesday, 24 January 2023
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Academic
Online and in-person
LocationBiochemistry Seminar Room G.13 (BIG13) and via Zoom, Dunedin
Contact NameDepartment of Biochemistry

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