10 November 2023
Louisa Ghevaert was delighted to attend the Public Policy Projects (PPP) Global Genomics Conference 2023 on 9 November 2023 in Westminster, London. It took place at the grand and truly splendid One Great George Street venue in Westminster, London, just along from the Supreme Court, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
Images: Louisa Ghevaert, CEO and Founder Louisa Ghevaert Associates.
The PPP Global Genomics Conference 2023 opened with an insightful address by Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Executive Chairman of PPP. He highlighted the importance of developing human genome sequencing to transform healthcare, as well as exploring the opportunities for practical application and what is reconcilable in policy terms. He went on to explain that the UK has an important part to play in the international genomics community and that we need to work together across countries to address healthcare, the creation and management of genomic databases and healthcare inequalities. He added that in doing so, we need to work together to create evolving policy frameworks for evolving genomic science.
Images: Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Executive Chairman of PPP.
The Shadow Minister for Science Research and Innovation Chi Onwurah MP then delivered a keynote speech on what the UK has already achieved and what still needs to be done to release its full potential in genomics. She reminded delegates that the UK has a proud history of medical innovation and that it was UK scientists who first discovered the DNA structure in 1953. She went on to explain that the UK is technologically advanced in the field of genomics and this was not inevitable; that public policy guidance helped steer this. She added that the UK government has recognised the value of this genomic and life science vision to help predict, diagnose and treat patients more quickly and effectively across the National Health Service. Furthermore, genomics will make a tremendous contribution to national health and the UK economy and we need to continue to capitalise on this and in doing so explore and understand the landscape across which this applies.
Images: Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, Executive Chairman of PPP; Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science Research and Innovation.
Throughout the day, the conference addressed clinical integration of genomics newborn genome sequencing, pharmacogenomics, AI, innovation, partnerships, latest updates and innovations from Genomics England and much more.
Images: Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England; Sir John Symonds CBE, Chairman of the Board GSK, Kira Levy, Head of Healthcare UK at Amazon Web Services; Kate Orviss, Senior Adviser Global Genomics at PPP.
It was enlightening to hear from Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England and learn more about the scale and roll out of genomic technology and its integration across the NHS. The event also explored the complex issues and challenges associated with realising the benefits of genomic sequencing both in the UK and globally, as well as the benefits of collaboration across sectors, among organisations, between countries and international diplomacy. Importantly. it also focused on the need for ensuring diversity and equity across the genomic ecosystem.
Images: Dr Richard Scott, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy CEO at Genomics England; Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England.
As such, Louisa Ghevaert was pleased to join the debate about key policy, structural and ethical considerations of participation in genomics. In doing so, she highlighted the importance of clarity of vision and ensuring strong female representation in the creation and application of AI models to help prevent bias and promote equity and diversity of genomic technology.
Images: Despoina Sousoni, Elixir; Louisa Ghevaert, CEO and Founder Louisa Ghevaert Associates; Aditi Babel, NHS.
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