HH&S Director Buffington Appointed to Advisory Board for 
Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genetics Education Project

Hollywood, Health & Society Director Sandra de Castro Buffington has been appointed to the advisory board of the Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genetics Education Project.

The project’s mission is to “increase public awareness about personal genetics, particularly the ethical, legal and social implications . . . around personal genome sequencing.” On its website, PgEd says its outreach to schools includes the development and sharing of free scientific lesson plans and professional workshops that train teachers to integrate the materials into their classrooms.

Also appointed to the advisory board in January 2013 were George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute; Juan Enriquez, an entrepreneur, academic and author who founded Biotechonomy LLC, a life sciences research and investment firm; and Marc Hodosh, a co-creator of TEDMED, the annual medical event that draws leaders from the fields of technology, entertainment, politics and health care.

Since May 2008, Buffington has been the director of HH&S, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center that leverages the power of the entertainment industry to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities worldwide, providing resources to leading scriptwriters and producers with the goal of improving the accuracy of health storylines on top TV programs and films. For her work, Buffington was named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in America by Poder Magazine.

A former associate faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Buffington has received numerous other honors, including the USAID MAQ Outstanding Achievement Award. Her vasectomy campaign in Brazil won seven international advertising awards, including a Bronze Lion at Cannes and a Gold Medal at the London International Advertising Awards. In 2011 she led Hollywood writers and producers on trips to South Africa and India, and later launched the Storybus Tour series and Climate Change Storytelling Resources Initiative.