News and Events


October 2022: 25th Anniversary of Gattaca

For the 25th Anniversary showing of the film Gattaca at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, MI, faculty mentors Scott Roberts and Kayte Spector-Bagdady served as panelists in a pre-panel discussion about the ethical and societal implications of the issues depicted in the film. 

Gattaca 1

May 2022: ELSI T32 Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the News

Sara Feldman who is a PhD candidate in the department of Health Behavior and Health Education and an ELSI pre-doctoral fellow has been highlighted in the U-M School of Public Health's Findings magazine. The full article which can be found here: describes the connection between Sara's dementia research and her role of being a caregiver for her mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

May 2022: U-M ELSI T32 Alum Accepts New Job Offer

Congratuations to alumnus Dr. Daniel Thiel on his acceptance of a faculty position at Michigan State University within its Lyman Briggs College. 

April 2022: U-M ELSI Fellows Present Research at NHGRI Conference

The U-M ELSI fellows attended the NHGRI 2022 conference. Each ELSI fellow presented a poster and postdoctoral fellow, Katie Hendy, presented a lightning talk during the conference. The titles of their presentations are below:

  • Drew Blasco: Uptake and interest in genetic testing among middle-to-older aged U.S. adults 
  • Sara Feldman: Disclosing APOE genotype to persons with MCI and their partners
  • Lynette Gerido: Opportunities for innovation in the collection and use of family health history 
  • Katie Hendy: Patient/clinician views & experiences of pharmacogenomic testing for major depression 
  • Versha Pleasant: Barriers to genetic testing among Black women at risk for breast cancer 

Lynette NHGRI 2022

Photo of Dr. Gerido presenting her research at the NHGRI 2022 conference

September 2021: Welcome to Our New ELSI Fellows

Welcome to our newly appointed ELSI Fellows, Drew Blasco, PhD and Lynette Hammond Gerido, PhD! A postdoctoral fellowship position has been awarded to Drew Blasco, PhD, who recently completed her doctorate in Public Health at New York University. As a postdoctoral fellow in the ELSI program, Dr. Blasco plans to apply her knowledge of stigma and the psychosocial implications of at-risk identification to Alzheimer’s disease, including a focus on genetic risk. A postdoctoral fellowship position has been awarded to Lynette Hammond Gerido, PhD, who recently completed her doctorate in Information Science from Florida State University. As a postdoctoral fellow in the ELSI program, Dr. Gerido will use population data to visualize health disparities and qualitative methods to reveal underlying structural and technological barriers to hereditary risk assessments, genetic counseling and testing for vulnerable populations.

July 2020: Faculty Mentor Scott Roberts, PhD Recipient of Outstanding Research Award

Faculty mentor Scott Roberts, PhD has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Research Award by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Genomics Forum.

October 2019: New Article Published on Whether or Not Clinicians Should Leave "Expanded" Carrier Screening Decisions to Patients 

An article has been published in the AMA Journal of Ethics, co-authored by Katye Spector-Bagdady entitled "Should Clinicians Leave “Expanded” Carrier Screening Decisions to Patients?" More information about this article can be found here:

July 2019: New Article Published on Assessing the Psychosocial Impact of Genetic Susceptibility Testing

An article has been been published in a special issue Looking for the Psychosocial Impacts of Genomic Information by the Hastings Center Report, authored by Scott Roberts entitled "Assessing the Psychosocial Impact of Genetic Susceptibility Testing". More information about this article can be found here:

April 2019-May 2019: UCEER Conference in Salt Lake City, UT

Scott Roberts, Daniel Thiel and Ellen Kim DeLuca will be attending a conference held at the University of Utah Center for Excellence in ELSI Research (UCEER) on April 30th-May 1st, 2019.

April 2019: NHGRI Conference in St. Louis, MO

Scott Roberts, Daniel Thiel and Ellen Kim DeLuca will be attending the NHGRI Research Training and Career Development Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO on April 7th-9th, 2019. More information about this conference can be found here: Both fellows will be presenting posters during the conference. The title of Daniel's poster is "'Skin in the Game': Examining public attitudes towards genome editing in the context of data and specimen sharing". The title of Ellen's poster is "Threshold analysis of treatment effectiveness for newborn screening for Krabbe disease".

January 2019: New Article Published on Patient Understanding and Expectations about Next-Generation Sequencing in Precision Oncology

An article has been published by Cancer Medicine entitled Next‐generation sequencing in precision oncology: Patient understanding and expectations. It was written by several of our ELSI faculty mentors (Scott Roberts, Michele Gornick, Brian Zikmund-Fisher, and Arul Chinnaiyan) who were part of the MI-ONCOSEQ team. Findings suggest that cancer patients participating in precision oncology intervention research have largely unfulfilled expectations of direct benefits related to their study participation. Increased focus on patient education to supplement the informed consent process may help manage patients' expectations regarding the extent and likelihood of benefits received as a result of undergoing genomic sequencing. The full article may be found using the following link:

September 2018: Faculty Mentor Wendy Uhlmann, MS, CGC Promoted to Clinical Professor

Faculty mentor Wendy R. Uhlmann, MS, CGC, has been promoted to Clinical Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics. Congratulations, Wendy! She has been featured in a UM Department of Internal Medicine's Faculty Spotlight article. Here is the link where you can be directed to the full article:

July 2018: Faculty Mentor Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD Assists with National Academies Report Entitled Returning Individual Research Results to Participants: Guidance for a New Research Paradigm

A consensus study report has been released providing guidance for a new research paradigm in the area of returning individual research results to participants. To create this report, an ad-hoc committee reviewed the current evidence on the benefits, harms, and costs of returning individual research results, while also considering the ethical, social, operational, and regulatory aspects of the practice. Faculty mentor Brian Zikmund-Fisher was part of this committee. More information about this report may be found here:

May 2018: Michigan Public Health Receives NIH Grant to Develop Training Program in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genomic Science

The University of Michigan School of Public Health has received federal funding to launch an integrated, interdisciplinary fellowship program that will provide training in the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomic science.

Led by Scott Roberts, professor of health behavior and health education at Michigan Public Health, the ELSI Research Training Program is funded by a T32 training grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute and will launch in fall 2018.

"The fields of genetics and genomics have exploded in recent years, which brings great opportunities, including advances in precision health," Roberts said. "But these important advances also pose ethical, legal and social questions and dilemmas. For example, we don't fully understand the benefits and harms of emerging technologies, such as CRISPR, or of the use of whole genome sequencing across medical, research, and direct-to-consumer settings. How do we best regulate and manage these applications?"

The ELSI Research Training Program will provide individually tailored training for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, including advanced coursework, research mentoring, and professional development led by an interdisciplinary team of University of Michigan faculty mentors with expertise and resources in public health, medicine, public policy, and social and behavioral disciplines. In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to learn about research and practice in public health genetics, genetic counseling, human genetics, genomic medicine, health law, science & technology studies, and bioethics.

Read more.