2 posts tagged “Young Investigator Award”

Moving Genetic Data Discovery Forward

Posted October 26th, 2011 by

In August, we proudly announced that PatientsLikeMe Research Scientist Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, had won a prestigious “Young Investigator Award” from the International Congress for Human Genetics (ICHG). As promised, here is Catherine’s first-person report from the conference, held October 11-15, 2011, in Montreal.

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12th International Congress of Human Genetics

The 12th International Congress for Human Genetics (ICHG) was a fantastic learning experience with 7,200 geneticists, doctors and researchers in attendance – making it the largest ICHG ever.  The talks were of the highest quality, and the latest genetics research was presented and discussed.  It was an honor to give one of these presentations, since only 8% of those who applied were awarded the opportunity.

That brings me to the main purpose of this blog post: A big THANK YOU to the members of PatientsLikeMe. Your data made our presentation possible. I spoke about the ALS pilot program for genetics entry and search functionality, which allows ALS patients to enter their causative genetic mutations (such as SOD1 A4V, SOD1 D90A and VAPB P56S) and find others with the same genetics. It was a groundbreaking project, and we hope to implement it site-wide in the near future.

I also presented some of the key results from our recent survey on genetic testing:

  • 16% of you have had some form of genetic testing.
  • Of those who have been tested, 31% have had a direct-to-consumer genetic test.
  • If cost were NOT a consideration, 83% of you would be at least moderately interested in getting a comprehensive personal genetic test.
  • 68% of you said you would be at least moderately interested in finding others with the same genetics as you.

Thanks again for your participation in the survey, for being members of PatientsLikeMe and for sharing in our research efforts. I hope that next year I’ll be presenting PatientsLikeMe’s site-wide genetics functionality.

PatientsLikeMe member cbrownstein


PatientsLikeMe’s Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, Wins “Young Investigator Award” from the 12th International Congress of Human Genetics

Posted August 25th, 2011 by

PatientsLikeMe Research Scientist Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, Winner of a "Young Investigator Award" from the 12th International Congress of Human Genetics

The spotlight is on PatientsLikeMe’s research team this week – and deservedly so.

On Tuesday, Research Director Paul Wicks, PhD, was named “Humanitarian of the Year” and a TR35 Honoree by MIT Technology Review. Now, we are extremely proud to announce that PatientsLikeMe Research Scientist Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH, has won a Young Investigator Award from the 12th International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG).

Held in Montreal, Canada, from October 11-15, 2011, the ICHG is the foremost meeting of the world human genetics community and takes place every five years. The anticipated attendance is 7,000 delegates from over 60 countries around the world. As part of her award, Dr. Brownstein will give a presentation entitled “An internet-based approach to enhance genetic data discovery in ALS” and receive complimentary registration to the five-day conference.

Just how difficult it is to win an ICHG Young Investigator Award? Dr. Brownstein was one of only 64 geneticists selected out of 770 applicants. In addition, her scientific abstract was one of 324 selected for presentation out of 3,932 submitted abstracts. In our book, that puts her in the top 10% of geneticists in the world.

Congratulations to Dr. Brownstein on this prestigious achievement. We look forward to publishing her report from the ICHG on the blog this fall.