Results are in and we would like say
to ASHG DNA Day Essay Contest winners


This year’s ASHG DNA Day Essay contest boasts submissions from 44 states and 23 foreign countries. This contest challenges students to examine, question, and reflect on important ideas and issues related to human genetics. Competitive essays are expected to convey substantive, well-reasoned, and evidence-based arguments that demonstrate deep understanding.Essays are evaluated through three rounds of judging, and every essay is read by a minimum of three judges. Top-scoring essays have typically been scored by a dozen or more judges.


This year’s question:

Choose a genetic test that is currently available for a condition or disease that does not cause symptoms until adulthood (i.e., an adult-onset condition such as hereditary breast cancer). Describe how the test works and how certain the test results are. Then, either defend or refute the recommendation below from ASHG’s recent position statement on pediatric genetic testing.

“Adolescents should be encouraged to defer predictive or pre-dispositional testing for adult-onset conditions until adulthood because of the complexity of the potential impact of the information at formative life stages.”



1st Place Winner

Stella Ma (11th Grade)
Teacher: Cindy Kellor
James Madison Memorial High School, Madison,WI

$1000 for student, $1000 genetic materials grant and 5 MiniOne Electrophoresis Systems for teacher

2nd Place Winner

Jillian Pesce (11th Grade)
Teacher: Maria Zeitlin
Smithtown High School,
East St. James, NY

$600 for student, $600 genetic materials grant and 3 MiniOne Electrophoresis Systems for teacher

3rd Place Winners

Alexis Schneider (11th Grade)
Teacher: Megan Gallagher
Upper Dublin High School, Fort Washington, PA

Dhruv Sharma (11th Grade)
Teacher: Pippa Haley
United World College of South East Asia, Dover Campus, Singapore, SG

$200 for each student, $200 genetic materials grant and a MiniOne Electrophoresis System for each teacher


Stay tuned! Announcements for future competitions and more chances to win FREE MiniOne Electrophoresis Systems to come!