NYC Student Ancestry Project


Free Results Symposium April 23rd 2014 (3PM – 5:30 PM at the American Museum of Natural History). Enter the AMNH using the 77th Street entrance.

A presentation of the combined results of all 200 students who participated will be followed by a panel of leading population geneticists who will answer questions and discuss the potential, limitations and complexities underlying these results and personal genomics data in general. After this panel discussion, the participants will break up into smaller groups with the expert panelists for more detailed discussion.
Here is the schedule:

2:45-3 PM-Arrival and registration

3:00-3:20 PM- Results discussion (Spencer Wells)

3:20-3:40 PM Results discussion (Mike Hickerson and Alexander Xue)

3:40-4:30 PM Panel Discussion

4:30-5:30 PM break into discussion groups with panelists

 Panelists include:

Charles Aquadro – Cornell University
Adam Auton – Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Brenna Henn – Stony Brook University
Eimear Kenny  – Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai
Itsik Pe’er – Columbia University
Ryan Raaum  –  Lehman College & CUNY
Eli Stahl – Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai
Spencer Wells – National Geographic


Free AMNH Lecture: April 23rd 2014LeFrak Theater 7 PM – 9 PM Cost $15 ($13.50 seniors, $12 members , Free for NYC Student Ancestry Project participants)

A public discussion about the risks and rewards of person direct to consumer genomics led by a panel that brings together Spencer Wells, geneticist and director of the Genographic Project from National Geographic and IBM; Rebecca Cann, cell and molecular biologist at the University of Hawaii; Dorothy Roberts, professor of law and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Robert Darnell, physician and investigator at Rockefeller University, to discuss the methods, results and implications of mapping our individual genomes. More information can be found here


Project Mission

We now have the ability to cheaply and quickly obtain large amounts of DNA sequence data and undoubtedly we will soon be drowning in our own genomic data with little knowledge about how to interpret it, manage it, and protect it. The goal of this project is to explore and demonstrate how our own genes can be used to uncover patterns in human history, ancestry and evolution. Specifically, this project will test the genetic diversity of NYC college students and demonstrate how we are all related despite our different appearances.

As part of the project, 200 college students are using National Geographic’s Genographic kit , and taking part in a multi-year global research initiative that uses DNA to map the history of human migration. Funded by the National Science Foundation, each student was provided with a free Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit (normally $199.95), a DNA cheek swab kit that allows submission of each student’s DNA to the Genographic Project to trace ancestry. The Geno 2.0 test examines a unique collection of nearly 150,000 DNA identifiers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-relevant relevant information (without being medically relevant). The project is not-for-profit and is non medical.

On April 23rd at 3-5 PM at the AMNH, the results will be present and discussed by the students and a panel of prominent population geneticists.

This project is funded by a NSF CAREER grant to M. Hickerson (DEB 1253710)






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