The Medico-Legal Society of Victoria

General Meeting

Professor Sylvia Metcalfe

Friday March 22nd 2019

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Melbourne Club, 36 Collins St, Melbourne
Dress: Lounge Suit
Drinks served 6.30 pm, Presentation 7.00 pm, followed by Dinner

‘What Australians think and do about personal genomic testing – findings from the Genioz study.’

will be presented by

Professor Sylvia Metcalfe

Personal genomic testing or online DNA testing has challenged the traditional model of clinical genetic testing. This type of testing is advertised directly to the consumer and is marketed globally for a range of health and recreational (predominantly ancestry) purposes, posing a number of ethical concerns. While research has focused on its use by early adopters, mostly in the USA, little is known about Australians’ expectations and use of this type of testing. The Genioz study (Genomics: National Insights of Australians) was funded through the Australian Research Council, and collected Australians’ perspectives on personal genomic testing. This presentation will give an overview of the findings. Outcomes from this study are informing educational strategies and policies in Australia to support potential consumers, and healthcare professionals, to understand and make meaningful and well-considered decisions about the benefits, harms, and implications of personal genomic tests.

Sylvia Metcalfe is Honorary Professor of Medical Genetics in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and, until her recent retirement, Group Leader of Genetics Education and Health Research at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. She has a background in laboratory-based biomedical research from the UK, New York and then Melbourne. For the last 20 years her research interests comprise the understanding of genetics by the community and health professionals, especially in terms of the societal and personal implications of genetic technologies, genetic screening and testing, and the impact of genetic diagnosis. She has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, books and book chapters, and has produced a wide range of educational material, including multimedia, print and online resources. She taught human genetics to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students at The University of Melbourne, as well as continuing professional development nationally and internationally. She is the principle investigator on the Genioz study and co-lead of Program 4 (Workforce Education and Training) of the Australian Genomics Health Alliance.


Acceptances not yet open

The charge to Members for the meeting is set on a "cost recovery" basis.

Acceptances close Monday 18th March - As seating is limited please accept online as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Members may bring guests who need not be legal or medical practitioners.



Mr Ian Rose
Hon. Legal Secretary

Tel: (03) 9645 1597 or 0419 551 362

Dr Raphael Kuhn
Hon. Medical Secretary

Tel: 0419 399 719