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Wednesday, October 12
SESSION 22 – ASHG Victor A. McKusick Leadership
Award Presentation
Room 210, Level 2, Convention Center
ASHG established this prestigious award and renamed
it in honor of Dr. Victor A. McKusick and his inspiring
contributions to the human genetics field. The
McKusick Leadership Award is presented to an
individual whose professional achievements have
fostered and enriched the development of the field of
human genetics. Recipients of this award must
exemplify the enduring leadership and vision required
to ensure that the field of human genetics will flourish
and successfully assimilate into the broader context of
science, medicine, and health. A plaque and a
monetary award are presented to the Leadership
Award recipient.
Huntington F. Willard
Duke Univ. Med. Ctr., USA
Leon E. Rosenberg
Professor, Princeton Univ., USA
Adjunct Professor, Yale Univ. Sch. of
Med., USA
Leon E. Rosenberg, MD, was selected as the 2011
recipient of the American Society of Human Genetics’
prestigious McKusick Leadership Award for his
exemplary and inspiring contributions to and
leadership in the field of human genetics. His influence
as a leader in the Society and the positive impact that
he has had on the human genetics community is
demonstrated through both his scientific and
academic achievements, as well as his contributions
to shaping the future for young scientists and
Dr. Rosenberg currently holds appointments as a
Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and
the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
International Public Affairs at Princeton University, and
as an Adjunct Professor of Genetics at Yale University
School of Medicine. From 1991 to 1998, he served as
Chief Scientific Officer of the Bristol-Myers Squibb
Company, and President of the Bristol-Myers Squibb
Pharmaceutical Research Institute, where he was
responsible for worldwide pharmaceutical research
and development.
Many of Dr. Rosenberg’s contributions to the field of
human genetics occurred during his 26 year tenure at
Yale University, where he worked as a researcher,
clinician, teacher, and administrator. In 1965, he was
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appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale, a
in 1972, he was named Professor of Human Geneti
Pediatrics, and Medicine - the same year he helped
establish Yale’s Department of Human Genetics and
became its first chairman. Dr. Rosenberg served as
Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine from
1984 to 1991.
Throughout his career, Dr. Rosenberg has been a
prominent leader in the ASHG, and he has been
involved in many different aspects of the human
genetics community as a whole. Dr. Rosenberg serv
as president of the American Society of Human
Genetics in 1980, and he was a member of the NAS
committee that recommended undertaking the Hum
Genome Project. He is also a past president of the
Association of American Physicians (AAP). His hono
include election to the National Academy of Science
and to the Institute of Medicine. He is a recipient of
the Kober Medal from the AAP.
Dr. Rosenberg’s basic and clinical research focus ha
been the biochemistry and genetic basis of disease,
and he is a specialist in the study of inherited
metabolic disorders in children. Rosenberg and his
research team conducted pioneering studies on the
molecular basis of several inherited disorders. He a
his colleagues discovered that children with a
potentially lethal disorder of organic acid metabolis
suffer from defective metabolism of vitamin B12. Th
then went on to demonstrate that supplements of B
were remarkably beneficial clinically. Furthermore,
Rosenberg’s work has also provided crucial insights
into the basic mechanism by which proteins
synthesized in the cytoplasm are transported into
mitochondria. In this work, the X-linked disorder,
ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency was critical.
The 2011 ASHG Leadership Award is also being
presented to Dr. Rosenberg for his continued efforts
influencing national policy issues and for his leaders
of numerous scientific committees and reports.
Notably, he played an important role in shaping the
future of human genetics research when he served
Chair of a congressionally-mandated committee of t
Institute of Medicine that was charged with assessin
the research priority-setting process at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
The American Society of Human Genetics recognize
Dr. Leon Rosenberg as the 2011 recipient of the
McKusick Leadership Award for his significant
achievements and for his numerous and diverse
contributions to human genetics that have had a wi
reaching, positive impact on shaping and advancing
both basic and clinical genetics research, as well as
public policy.
For a list of past award winners, visit the ASHG We
site at