ANAHEIM, Calif. - On August 4, a special session at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will shed much-needed light on the nuances of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. 

The popularity of consumer genetic testing is rising exponentially, with as many people buying these tests in 2018 as in all previous years combined. However, many consumers do not fully understand the limitations of these tests. Genes and lifestyle factors interact to influence disease risk in complex ways that at-home tests cannot yet quantify—yet many people consider results from these tests definitive, which may lead them to undergo unnecessary or even detrimental treatments. 

In the session “Consumer Genomics, Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing, and Patient Empowerment,” two renowned experts will explore how the healthcare community can enable patients to benefit from the direct-to-consumer revolution while also protecting them from its potential pitfalls. The session will feature Dr. Jill Hagenkord, chief medical officer of Color Genomics (and former chief medical officer of 23andMe), who will discuss the state of consumer genomics in 2019. Dr. Theodora Ross, a geneticist who directs the high-risk cancer genetics program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will then delve into the hype surrounding direct-to-consumer genomics, the harms these tests can cause, and the hope for the future of this field. The session will also examine how various direct-to-consumer genetic tests differ from each other in terms of accuracy and utility, how these tests are regulated, and how they fit into patient care overall. 

When: Sunday, August 4, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Where: Room 204B

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim, California


Moderator: Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN

Dr. Jill Hagenkord, Color Genomics, Burlingame, CA

Dr. Theodora Ross, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas

Registration: AACC Annual Scientific Meeting registration is free for members of the media. Reporters can register online here:

For reporters who can't attend the meeting in person, this special session will also be livestreamed. Register here for the livestreaming.

About the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

The AACC Annual Scientific Meeting offers 5 days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science from August 4-8. Plenary sessions feature the latest research on accelerating the clinical adoption of new biomedical discoveries, the influence of genetics and brain circuitry on behavior, targeted breast cancer treatment, advances in precision medicine, and extremely rapid molecular diagnostic tests.

At the AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 800 exhibitors will fill the show floor of the Anaheim Convention Center in California with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to mobile health, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, point-of-care, and automation.

About AACC

Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit

Meeting Link: 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo Meeting Link: Media Registration for webstream of this expert panel event