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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 401-874-2116

Philip Reilly to discuss social implications of genetic technology

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 17, 2002 -- He’s a CEO, an M.D., and he holds a J.D. Put all the initials together and you get Philip Reilly whose training as a physician, a clinical geneticist and an attorney make him a leading expert on the ethical, legal, historical, and social implications of genetic technology.

Reilly will share his expertise at the University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium on Sept. 24. His talk "Mass Genetic Screening from Newborns to Terrorists" will be presented in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271, Chafee Social Science Center from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited.

Reilly will discuss the social implications of the growth in genetic technology, which has become a multibillion-dollar industry in the last decade. He will examine the uses of genetic technology, whether there should be any limits to its use, and what groups -- insurance companies, employers, educators, the government -- should have access to the information gained.

Reilly is CEO of Interleukin Genetics, Inc, a publicly traded personalized medicine and pharmacogenetics company based in Waltham, Mass. He also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine.

From 1990 to 2000, Reilly was CEO of the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation in Waltham, Mass., a federally funded research institution. He has served on the faculties of Brandeis University (1994 to 2000) and Harvard Medical School (1986 to 1998).

From 1995-98, Reilly was a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Human Genetics. In 1999 to 2000 he was president of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. He has published more than 150 articles about genetics and medicine and has authored four books. His most recent book, Abraham Lincoln's DNA and Other Adventures

In Genetics (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press), written for general readers about genetics, was published in October 2000.

Reilly earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell, his law degree from Columbia and his medical degree at Yale. He is board certified in internal medicine and clinical genetics and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Reilly is a co-founder of GeneSage and a feature writer and journal watch reviewer for GeneLetter. He also serves as the senior scientist in Social Science, Ethics and Law at the Shriver Center and as the current president of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

A former member of the board of directors for the American Society of Human Genetics, Reilly was a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics

His areas of research include genetic screening, genetic counseling, and DNA data banking. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Justice advisory committee on DNA forensics.

Major sponsors for the colloquium series are the University of Rhode Island Honors Program, The Providence Journal, The URI Foundation, Theta Chi Fraternity, the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, and the President’s Office. Additional sponsors include URI’s Offices of the Provost and the dean of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, Multicultural Center, Student Entertainment Committee, the John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, the URI Alumni Association and Matritech.

Complete schedule of Honors Colloqium events.

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