University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Leonard to Discuss "Who Owns Your Genes?" at Community Medical School Sept. 17

Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D.
UVM Professor and Chair of Pathology Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Debra Leonard)

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that human genes are not patentable. The decision invalidated patents on genomic DNA – the ability of one company to own a human gene(s). On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Debra Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of pathology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, will discuss "Who Owns Your Genes? How the Patent System Impacts Physicians and Patients" in the second session in the Community Medical School Fall 2013 series. An expert in the molecular pathology of genetic, cancer and infectious diseases, and policy development for genomic medicine, Leonard has spoken widely on various molecular pathology test services, the future of molecular pathology, the impact of gene patents on molecular pathology, and the practice of genomic medicine. Read Leonard's blog post on the topic here.

The lecture takes place from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a half-hour Q&A session, in Carpenter Auditorium at the UVM Given Medical Building. Lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. To register or learn more, call (802) 847-2886 or visit Community Medical School online.

A joint program between the UVM College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, Community Medical School is a series of evening lectures by the top faculty experts who teach and inspire the next generation of physicians and scientists at Vermont's academic medical center. Each presentation reviews a current medical science topic in an easy-to-understand format, including informational handouts and a question-and-answer session following the lecture.

The Fall 2013 schedule also includes:

September 24: HIV/AIDS: How Care in Vermont Has Changed

Christopher Grace, M.D., FACP, Professor of Medicine and Director of Infectious Disease, and Deborah Kutzko, A.P.R.N.

AIDS has devastated all parts of the world. Learn about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) responsible for AIDS pandemic and review the significant changes that have occurred in the U.S. over the past 30 years, including treatments, new advancements and policies.

October 1: Keeping It Simple: Reducing Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Using Life's Simple 7

Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., Professor of Medicine and Hematologist

Learn about the latest research that shows how even a small improvement in just one of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 measures for good health - get active; control cholesterol; eat better; manage blood pressure; lose weight; reduce blood sugar; and stop smoking - can result in reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

October 8: One Day at a Time: When Headaches Become Chronic

Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurological Sciences and Director of the Headache Clinic

What is chronic daily headache (CDH) and who is most at risk? Learn about the different types of CDH and its causes, as well as review treatment options and the impact of CDH.

Visit Community Medical School Archives to view presentations and materials from previous lectures.