Genomics and Society Mentorship Program

Enhancing diversity among future ethical, legal and social implications researchers

Open to undergraduate students interested in the ethics of research, clinical care and/or public health, the Johns Hopkins Genomics and Society Mentorship Program begins with a 10-week Summer Internship Program (SIP) through the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Johns Hopkins SIP provides summer research experience to underrepresented minorities, students from economically disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds, and students with disabilities. Through the Mentorship Program, these students will gain experience doing research centered on ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomics.

Meet our 2019-2020 trainees.

Program Features

  • Mentored research
  • Weekly journal club
  • Bimonthly seminars
  • Professional development sessions
  • Foundational courses
  • $3,000 stipend

Faculty from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics will mentor trainees on bioethics broadly, and in the context of their specific projects, enabling students to identify and analyze morally relevant issues in science, medicine, and public health. Students will continue their connection to the Program throughout the academic year (for a total of 15 months), co-lead the planning of an activity (e.g., seminar, outreach event) related to their interests in Genomics and Society at their home institution, and return to Hopkins for one week the following summer for additional training, mentorship, and connection with the next cohort of trainees.

Program Details

Interns will learn skills, be exposed to the range of possible training and career options in ELSI research, and with the guidance of a faculty mentor, work on issues in genomics and society.

Interns will attend a workshop/seminar designed specifically for them and their cohort. In addition, they may choose to enroll in foundational courses in the Berman Institute’s existing Summer Institute.

These are in addition to those activities available to all Summer Internship Program students, such as weekly journal club and the bimonthly seminars and professional development sessions. By the end of summer, students will be expected to be able to identify morally relevant issues in science, medicine, research and public health, and to engage in sound reasoning about those issues.  Participants will develop these core skills through exposure to foundational bioethics methodologies, the application of those skills and methodologies to important historical and contemporary cases, and to participants’ own interests.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be full-time college students, who have completed at least one full year of collegiate study. Recent college graduates are not eligible to apply.

Apply to the Genomics & Society Mentorship Program

Apply online.

Once you’ve created and confirmed your user account, applicants should select the Bloomberg School of Public Health when prompted to choose a school. You will then be directed to a dropdown to choose a program — the Genomics & Society Mentorship Program is one of the options.

2019 Trainees

Fowota Mortoo

Fowota Mortoo is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently on the pre-med track and will apply to UNC’s Gilling’s School of Public Health next year to major in Health Policy and Management. Within the field of bioethics, she has two main interests, the first of which is how ethics informs policy—specifically how to make the process of genomics research (quantitative and qualitative) equitable in order to inform health and economic policies that counteract existing disparities; for example, how can researchers be more cognizant of social aspects of genomics research (e.g., financial considerations of study participants) and incorporate these considerations into their study models, and how the community based participatory research model can be realized in genomics research. Second, she is interested in ethical issues arising in clinical settings in regards to the quality of care, access to services, and provider decision-making.

Lauryn Mosby

Lauryn Mosby is a sophomore at Howard University where she is a Biology major with a Chemistry minor. Lauryn is from St. Louis, Missouri. She currently serves as the Dean of Enrichment for an organization called Women of Revolt at Howard, and is the founder of Ask Jarrett, which is a mentoring program that aims to assist high school seniors during the transition to college or to the armed forces. Ask Jarrett also pairs undergraduate student mentors to professional mentors to expose them to different career paths. Along with being passionate about mentoring and community service, Lauryn is also passionate about eliminating implicit biases amongst physicians. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric anesthesiology or obstetrics after obtaining her BS from Howard and a Master’s in Biomedical Ethics.

Jasmine Powell

Jasmine Powell is a rising sophomore at Brown University who is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area. She has aspirations of becoming a physician one day and is specifically passionate about health equity and healthcare access. Her interest in these very important topics drove her to major in public health as an undergraduate student at Brown. Jasmine is fascinated with the entire field of ethical, legal, and societal implications of research because of the way that it contextualizes biomedical science. As someone interested in population health and medicine, she finds the questions that this field strives to answer to be essential. Specifically, Jasmine is interested in the ethics and societal impact of vaccination, prenatal care and regulation of the opioid epidemic in the context of genomics.

Bakari Sibert

Bakari Sibert is a junior at Howard University, with a double major in bioethics and political science. He serves as the Director of Health and Wellness for the Howard University Student Association. In his free time, he enjoys collecting and creating art as well as DJ’ing. He is particularly interested in the implications of genomics policy and its potential to unfairly disadvantage minorities and low-income populations. It is important to him that when policy is being written and reviewed that all communities are taken into careful consideration.

Nina Wallace

Nina Wallace is a rising junior at Howard University with a biology and community health double major and an Arabic minor. Nina is originally from Philadelphia. Ultimately, she hopes to conduct research on therapies for developmental disabilities as well as domestic/global health disparities and the associated ethical issues. She plans to pursue a combined degree program with public health and medicine. She wants to both understand the biological basis of these disorders and address the historical and contemporary health care inequities that can result in worse outcomes for underprivileged communities. She wants the greater research community to not only understand how disparities contribute to differences in care and outcomes for perinatal and pediatric patients, but to reduce disparities and improve overall health in these vulnerable populations.

Affiliated Project

Program Director

BRIDGES: Center for Bridging Infectious Disease, Genomics, and Society
Considering ethical implications of personalized approaches to treating infectious diseases made possible by genomic technological advances
Debra Mathews, PhD, MA
Assistant Director for Science Programs; Core Faculty; Associate Professor

Program Mentors

Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH
Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director; Core Faculty; Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy
Gail Geller, ScD, MHS
Director of Education Initiatives; Core Faculty; Professor
Travis N. Rieder, PhD
Director of the MBE Program; Assistant Director for Education Initiatives; Associate Faculty; Research Scholar
Alexis Walker
Hecht-Levi Fellow