Genetics takes over Tampa

Sunday, March 13, 2016
I made it home yesterday from nearly a full week in Tampa for the the American College of Medical Genetics Meeting. It was a great week but I am glad to be home with my people. Florida was beautiful and a perfect sunny and breezy 70-80 degrees each day. Didn't feel one drop of rain.

The convention center was right on the water so we had lots of opportunities for sitting outside and enjoying the views between sessions about DNA, genome sequencing, and the pros and cons of letting people have direct access to such things.

It was awesome having other HudsonAlpha people there this year. I have been going to this meeting as the lone ranger from the Institute for a number of years. All three of the HudsonAlpha Genetic Counselors were there along with our medical geneticist, several scientists and our communications director. I also got to meet up with Kristen and Whitney there as well and catch up on life. Missed the other 5 grad school classmates though.

Based on pictures you would think we did a lot of sitting outside and eating. But that was just the most interesting things to photograph.

We had a lot of representation at the meeting too. I gave a talk on a panel discussion Wednesday morning about patient directed genetic testing (see middle tweet below) and Whitley and I both had posters on some of our developmental delay genome sequencing data. It was a full week.

The most fun I had all week was a little surprise Kristen and I had planned for Whitney on Friday night to celebrate her recent 30th birthday. The three of us took an Uber to Busch Gardens to go on a Serengeti Night Safari. Totally underrated and unknown event that I found searching the internet desperately for "fun things to do in Tampa." It was awesome. The park was closed so it was just us (and the other 20 people on the tour) in the park. It included appetizers, drinks and desserts and a couple really entertaining tour guides (who knew a surprising amount about biology and genetics...and made jokes about going to "jail electrophoresis"...oh yes they did). We got to walk around the park and come face to face (through a thick sheet of glass) with a hippo, alligator and some lions and boarded the back of a truck for a ride out onto the plains to see giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and other assorted african critters. It was amazing and such a fun (and perfectly random) way to celebrate Whitney.

Another ACMG is in the books. Now it is back to actually doing genetics tomorrow at work and not just talking it. 

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