Effects of DNA sequencing topic of next SH Speakers Series program | Localnews

A medical geneticist plans to discuss the process of genetic sequencing, along with its ethical challenges, at the next South Haven Speakers Series program.

Dr. Caleb Bupp, a pediatrics-trained, board certified medical geneticist who practices at Beaumonth Health-Spectrum Health and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, will present his program, “Game-Changing Advances in Medicine,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 at Lake Michigan College South Haven campus, 125 Veterans Blvd. A wine and cheese reception will precede the event at 6:30 p.m.

Admission to the program is $10. Students, educators and clergy will be admitted free of charge. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the presentation. COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

Bupp plans to share his background and experience regarding the process of genetic sequencing, which involves obtaining information about a person’s DNA genome which can provide information on genetics variants that can lead to disease or increase a person’s risk of disease development.

Although genetic sequencing can provide useful information to people about their future healthcare needs, it has presented ethical and legal challenges that have arisen due to the use of the technology to pre-select or modify physical characteristics of unborn children.

Bupp also plans to discuss recent advances in healthcare that have resulted from pro-active versus reactive approaches that are improving the quality of life for people.

Bupp’s practice is at Beaumont Health Spectrum Health and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital where he serves as the division chief of Medical Genetics and Genomics. He is also an assistant professor at Michigan State University where he was named a Pediatric Master Series teacher. He is the chairperson of the Genomics Committee at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and the Spectrum Health Institutional Biosafety Committee, as well as serving on the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Research Advisory Council. He also is the chair of the State of Michigan’s Newborn Screen Quality Assurance Advisory Committee and a member of the Make-A-Wish Medical Advisory Council for the State of Michigan.

Bupp received his Bachelor of Science in molecular biology from Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and his medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Ohio. He completed a pediatrics residency at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and his medical genetics training at the Greenwood Genetic Center in South Carolina.

His clinical interests include intellectual disability, genetics education, and rare syndromes. He has authored multiple journal articles and textbook chapters in the field of genetics. Recently, he helped describe a new treatable genetic syndrome caused by ODC1 mutations now termed Bachmann-Bupp syndrome. He has been a speaker for a number of conferences and events regionally and nationally.

The South Haven Speakers Series will continue in October when professor Lisa Schirch of the University of Notre Dame talks about the best and worst impacts of technology on polarization and social cohesion in the United States.

She will present her program, “How Technology Both Increases Polarization and Builds Bridges in a Divided United States Election Season” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 20 at Lake Michigan College South Haven campus, 125 Veterans Blvd.

Schirch, who is Starmann chair in Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, will provide case studies regarding designs of some technology platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, that appear to encourage polarization. She will also discuss several new technology platforms that are designed to help build greater government and political trust among Americans.

The primary purpose of sequencing one’s genome is to obtain information of medical value for future care. Genomic sequencing can provide information on genetic variants that can lead to disease or can increase the risk of disease development, even in asymptomatic people.