calendar icon

North Coast Conference on Precision Medicine symposium

The Case Western Reserve University Institute for Computational Biology (ICB) will host its second annual North Coast Conference on Precision Medicine symposium Thursday, Sept. 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tinkham Veale University Center’s Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Ballroom. The symposium’s topic will be “Precision Medicine for All: Ensuring Diversity in Participants and in Practice.”

Veronica Robinson and Shirley Lacks, great-granddaughter and daughter-in-law of Henrietta Lacks, will be special guest speakers at the conference.

Henrietta Lacks was a cervical cancer patient whose biospecimens were used without her consent to create immortal cell lines, now known as HeLa cells. Since the publication of Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Lacks family has spoken to audiences about their family’s experience both as research participants and their role in informing and directing research and policy.

This year’s symposium will highlight issues in diversity in precision medicine research, which aims to incorporate “omic” data into clinical practice to better predict, prevent and treat disease at the individual level.

Seven local and national speakers will cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • The need for diversity in precision medicine research;
  • Public attitudes toward the use of genetics to address health disparities;
  • Outreach and experiences in Cleveland;
  • Use of electronic health records to identify potential participants for precision medicine research;
  • Biorepositories, data collection and data analysis in U.S. territories;
  • Statistical and computational approaches to studying diverse populations; and
  • Pharmacogenomics (and its challenges) in diverse populations.

The lunch break will feature a poster session and a presentation from Patrick Raber from Adaptive Biotechnologies, a biotechnology company that specializes in combining high-throughput sequencing and expert bioinformatics to profile T-cell and B-cell receptors high-throughput sequencing and expert bioinformatics to profile T-cell and B-cell receptors.

The symposium is free for trainees and $25 for others, and registration is required.

To register, visit