Guest post from Kendall Morgan, IGSP Communications

When the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) first opened its doors 10 years ago, the interdisciplinary unit was Duke’s response to the dawning of a revolution. Today, genomics is a very real and ever-growing force in biology, medicine, politics and popular society, and the IGSP is responding by throwing its doors open even wider.

Members of the Duke faculty anywhere on campus with an interest in the genome sciences or their societal implications are invited to join the IGSP “interactome.”

The Institute’s renewed emphasis on an open membership policy is a key outcome of the IGSP 2.0 evaluation and planning process launched by IGSP Director Huntington Willard last year in anticipation of the IGSP’s tenth-year review in 2012. The internal review process was designed to assess the extent to which the structure of the IGSP was optimal for the future of genome sciences and policy both on campus and beyond.

“Genomics looks quite different now than it did in 2000 or even just a few years ago,” Willard said. “The Institute must be designed to adapt to both the current and future landscape of opportunities and challenges in the genome sciences and society. This will take faculty and students from all across campus. For Duke to meet that challenge, IGSP 2.0 is all about being inclusive, flexible, open.”

Huntington Willard, Director of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy

Other outcomes of the IGSP 2.0 strategic planning process include a funding initiative aimed to foster new interdisciplinary teams of faculty focused on significant questions in any aspect of genome sciences and its implications for individuals, society and the world. The IGSP is also launching a new ‘Omics Data Analysis Core Resource as a complement to the Institute’s stable of data-generating genome technology facilities.

“We are committed to faculty recruitment and development and to enhance and catalyze innovative and meaningful scholarship across the full spectrum of genome sciences and policy,” Willard said. “Importantly – and as a statement of purpose – these strategies require us to engage and enable faculty and students at all levels, not just in the IGSP, but across the institution.”