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PreMiEr SEI Journal Club

April 19, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Virtual Event
Illustration of office setting overlaid with microbes. Logo - PreMiEr Precision Microbiome Engineering

PreMiEr Social and Ethical Implications of Microbiome Engineering Journal Club

Wed., Apr. 19 | 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Topic: Race as a “ghost” variable in microbiome research – continued

Facilitator: Andrew Hardwick, Graduate Student Research Assistant for PreMiEr Core C SEI.

In addition, Andrew is a PhD student in Public Administration, a Research Assistant at the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center at NC State and a Fellow in Cohort 2 of the AgBioFEWS graduate training program.

Zoom link: See the PreMiEr weekly newsletter or contact Sharon Stauffer at

NASEM ReportUsing Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field. (PDF)
*Note:  You will not be expected to read the entire report, but please review the executive summary.

Supplements to NASEM Report:

See also: Past SEI Journal Club articles and discussions

March Journal Club recap: In our previous SEI Journal Club in March, we discussed the existence of race as a “ghost” variable in microbiome research. “Ghost” variables are instances where variables like socially defined race are assumed to be biological and act as a proxy for a number of variables that affect microbiome research like red-lining or environmental racism. We continue this discussion by examining the executive summary of the NASEM Report “Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field“. This report provides multiple recommendations to replace the use of ghost variables with more appropriate descriptors. In this upcoming Journal Club, we will review the report’s recommendations and how we can apply them in our own work.

The purpose of the PreMiEr SEI Journal Club is to build a community that is exposed to and thinking about the societal implications of microbiome engineering, so that we can begin to think about ways to integrate these aspects into the technology development. Another purpose—to get to know each other better as colleagues in PreMiEr!

All PreMiEr affiliated faculty, students and staff are welcome to attend. We will start with introductions and an informal 5-10 minute presentation of the article. We will then have an open discussion about how the societal and ethical aspects in the article may relate to PreMiEr’s natural science or engineering research, work, or scholarship.

Minimal to no preparation needed.

If you’d like a Google calendar invitation, please contact Sharon Stauffer, GES and PreMiEr SEI project manager at However, if you prefer to mark your own calendar, or show up spur of the moment, no RSVP is needed.

PreMiEr SEI Core Homepage >


April 19, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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