On the Same Page gives new students in the College of Letters & Science something to talk about. This year, we’ll all be on the same page exploring the theme of Personalized Medicine—the set of emerging technologies that promises to transform our ability to predict, diagnose, and treat human disease—with Professor Jasper Rine as our guide.

The program announcement has already generated a lot of discussion and questions, about everything from our reasons for tackling this topic to the safeguards we have put in place for our students. Dean Mark Schlissel provides answers in the General FAQ. See also his open letter.

Announcing the winners of the first-ever On the Same Page contest

Over the summer we invited all undergraduates at Cal to submit anything (a poem, essay, sculpture, film . . . ) that related to our theme and expressed their creativity. We received many wonderful submissions, reflecting the diverse talents of our student body. The deans have selected the winners; the winning entries are posted on the contest page.

Participate in the Grand Experiment

All new L&S freshmen and transfers received a package in the mail over the summer. This package contained, among other things, a saliva kit and a consent form, along with a link to a video version of the consent form. Over 700 new students have sent us a small sample of their own genetic material (along with their consent form). Professor Rine will report the aggregate results of his analysis of three genes that contribute to the impact of nutrition on your health at his lecture on September 13. For more information on how the program works, see the Student FAQ. For details on the changes to the program due to a recent decision by the California Department of Public Health, see the letter Dean Schlissel mailed to students on August 13, or the press release from August 12.

As originally stated on the consent form, you are able to withdraw from this study without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. If you no longer wish to have your data included in this program, please place your original barcode in a sealed envelope addressed to "OPHS Director" and place it in a secure mail drop box just outside of the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects on the 3rd floor of 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 313 between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Take care NOT to place any identifying information on or in the envelope other than the barcode itself. This must be done no later than this Friday, September 10. You can also mail or fax this information directly to OPHS (see http://cphs.berkeley.edu/contact.html for address/number).

Learn About—and Discuss—Personalized Medicine

Enroll in a Freshman and Sophomore Seminar related to the theme in fall 2010.

Take a class from a faculty member who is incorporating our theme into one of his or her regular fall courses.

Read the Berkeley Blog about personalized medicine, and respond if you'd like.

Become a Facebook fan of On the Same Page, and discuss the theme with other fans.

Explore in greater depth by reading articles featured in the virtual bookshelf.

Enjoy Related Events

Attend the free public program The Experimental Man: Cutting-Edge Scientific Research and Implications for Personalized Medicine, sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension, Tuesday November 9 at 6:30 pm.

Attend a discusson of The DNA Age: Personal stories from the genetic frontier, moderated by New York Times National Correspondent Amy Harmon and featuring three individuals she wrote about in her Pulitzer Prize-winning series, "The DNA Age." If you missed the panel, watch it on webcast or YouTube.

Attend Professor Rine’s keynote lecture, "Looking for the Good News in Your Genome," in Wheeler Auditorium on Monday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. If you missed Professor Rine's lecture, watch it on YouTube or webcast.

Choose from among four panel presentations, covering a range of disciplinary approaches to the questions raised by personalized medicine.

View the provocative film Jar City, and sign up for a discussion of the novel on which it was based.

Attend a second keynote lecture by Professor Alta Charo, "Personal Genomics and Public Angst," in 105 Stanley Hall on Wednesday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. If you missed Professor Charo's lecture, watch it on webcast or YouTube.

Take advantage of a film series in the residence halls.

Last Year's Event: Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan appeared at Zellerbach Hall on September 30, 2009. For more information, see the Pollan event home page.

Inaugural Event: Stephen Hawking

Book cover

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking spoke to an overflow crowd at Zellerbach Hall on March 13, 2007. For more information, see the press coverage and Hawking event home page.