The Center for Genomic Advocacy


To prepare for the societal transformation genomic technology will bring, we have established The Center for Genomic Advocacy (TCGA), whose with a core mission is to develop a community of advocates through interdisciplinary studies in biology, political science, business, ethics, and health, was established to prepare for the societal transformation genomic technology is bringing about. 

ge-nome (n): All of the genetic information, and all of the hereditary material possessed by an organism. 
ad-vo-ca-cy (n): To influence public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles.

TCGA is ushering Indiana State University (ISU) into the genomics era by promoting the responsible use of genomic technology for the betterment of society, while mitigating the negative effects that such technology may have on individuals.

The international Human Genome Project is about 30 years old, yet and we are just now finally beginning to understand how such genomic information is transforming society. In the upcoming decades we will reap the many fruits that genomic technology can deliver, including treatments and cures for diseases, as well as solutions to the pressing problems facing humankind such as famine, environmental disasters, and the conservation of rare and endangered species. Associated with these benefits are numerous ethical and legal issues whose affects we do not yet comprehend. For example, never before in human history have we had access to the amount of personal information contained within an individual's genome, and currently, society is still ill equipped to handle the many dilemmas these data will present. We are at the edge of the "Genomic Revolution" and there is no turning back. 

TCGA is an academic center that bridges genomic science, social science, business, and policy while ethically advancing human health and welfare. Through, 1) new academic programs in Genomic Advocacy and Genetic Counseling, 2) interdisciplinary research in science, policy, business, and ethics, and, 3) public engagement and social advocacy, TCGA will is helping place ISU at the forefront of academic innovation. To create synergy and forward momentum, the goals of TCGA are carefully aligned with ISU's strategic goals 1 through 6. Knowledge and expertise from a variety of disciplines, as well as real-life experience in science, industry, and law will be needed to analyze the costs and benefits of genomic technology. Therefore, we have identified work in concert with an extensive number of external (e.g. Union Hospital, The Genome Institute at Washington University) and internal partners to aid in bringing TCGA to fruition to achieve these goals. Through education, consultation, and telemedicine, TCGA is advancing the acceptance and use of genomic testing and personalized medicine throughout rural Indiana. In addition, TCGA is helping to alleviate the many misconceptions and fears associated with ever-increasing genomic advances.

Contact Information

Jeff Kinne, Ph.D., Director
Phone: (812) 237-2126

Nathan Myers, Ph.D., Associate Director
Phone: (812) 237-2504

Shaad Ahmad, Ph.D., Associate Director
Phone: (812) 237-2390

Rusty Gonser, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Department of Biology
Phone: (812) 237-2395