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High Tech, Low Cost: Next-Generation Genomic Testing
New York Genome Center
6:30 PM — 8:30 PM

Join us at the New York Genome Center for an engaging evening with genomic experts. 

See New York Genome Center’s lecture series, events and archives VIEW FULL CALENDAR


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Panel Discussion & Audience Q&A
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM: Cocktail Reception


Join us at the New York Genome Center for an engaging evening with genomic experts.


*Check out what a low-cost “spit kit” of your saliva can reveal about your ancestry and your health.


*Get connected to mobile apps that let you “bring your own genome” and help advance genomic science.


*Learn how even very young schoolchildren are sequencing DNA, right in the classroom.


*Find out how geneticists, working with NASA, are tracking twin astronauts to prepare us for long-term human space travel and how they now sequence DNA routinely in space.


Joseph Pickrell, PhD
CEO, Gencove (A NYGC Spinout)
Human Geneticist










Joseph Pickrell, PhD, is the CEO of Gencove, an app designed to make genomic data accessible and interpretable. Prior to founding Gencove, Dr. Pickrell ran a lab dedicated to developing computational and statistical tools to transform large-scale genomic data into a better understanding of human biology at the New York Genome Center. Before joining the New York Genome Center in 2014, Dr. Pickrell was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School. He holds a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Chicago and a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.







Sophie Zaaijer, PhD
CEO & Co-Founder, PlayDNA
Runway Fellow, Cornell Tech









Sophie Zaaijer, PhD, is CEO and Co-Founder of PlayDNA (, which brings the MinION, a portable DNA sequencer, into the classroom. She is also a Runway Fellow at Cornell Tech in the Runway Startup Postdoc Program. She did her postdoctoral research with Dr. Yaniv Erlich at the New York Genome Center and Columbia University, where she developed applications for the MinION in forensics, clinical and research labs. She frequently presents about the impact of genomics on our society. Through PlayDNA, she wants to prepare the next generation for a genomics-rich future.



Christopher Mason, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics,
Weill Cornell Medicine
Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School











Christopher Mason, PhD, completed his dual BS in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison, his PhD in Genetics from Yale University. He then completed post-doctoral training in clinical genetics at Yale Medical School and was a postdoctoral Fellow of Genomics, Ethics, and Law at Yale Law School. He is currently an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with appointments at the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute.


Google Scholar


To read more about Dr. Pickrell’s research, please visit – Google Scholar – Joseph Pickrell, PhD


To read more about Dr. Zaaijer’s research, please visit – Google Scholar – Sophie Zaaijer, PhD


To read more about Dr. Mason’s research, please visit – Google Scholar – Christopher Mason, PhD



The Evening Talks series is sponsored by The New York Community Trust – Pyewacket Fund.

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    The New York Genome Center’s Evening Talks events feature distinguished experts from around the world sharing genomic insights and research. They are intended to showcase and explain high science to the non-scientific community. Speakers present the latest research findings and explain its implication for helping improve clinical care for a wide array of serious diseases. The lecture is followed by a lively question-and-answer session and a post-event reception of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. These popular free public events are held in the Center’s state-of-the-art ground-floor auditorium starting at 6:30 pm. The Evening Talks Series is sponsored by The New York Community Trust – Pyewacket Fund.

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          New York Cancer Genomics Research Network
          To advance collaborative efforts on cancer genomics, the New York Genome Center (NYGC) hosts meetings on the first Tuesday of every month to bring together leading cancer researchers, clinicians and postdocs from the NYGC’s Institutional Founding Members and other key academic institutions. The organizers include Drs. Harold Varmus (Weill Cornell Medicine & NYGC), Marcin Imielinski (Weill Cornell Medicine & NYGC), Ross Levine (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and Sohail Tavazoie (The Rockefeller University).