Page 7 - ASHG 2013 Program Guide

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WELCOME FROM THE PRESIDENT
Welcome to our 2013 Annual Meeting in Boston, a city uniquely well-suited to our
Society. We are embarking on a strategic-planning effort this year that will involve all
of the members of the Society, and thus my theme “It’s All About You” sets the stage
for how we want all of us to think about where our Society is now and where it will be
headed over the next decade.
We celebrate a number of genetics anniversaries this year, including the 65th
anniversary of ASHG (although we’re clearly not ready for retirement), as well as the
60
th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix, and the 10th anniversary of
the Human Genome Project’s success. Anniversaries lead us not only to reflect on
the past, but to anticipate our future, and we’re hopeful that the exciting scientific
presentations at this year’s meeting can help give all of us pause to take pride in how
far we have come and to create excitement in anticipation of what is next.
The scientificadvanceswewill hear about over thenextweekwill energizeall of us, andalso
will highlight the fulcrum of challenges that I hope can tip ASHG to even more relevance
in the future. Around the world, increasing constraints on national and philanthropic
budgets have created a crisis in the funding of scientific investigation. Some of these
funding crises are driven by financial realities that result from world economic downturns
as well as continuing conflicts throughout the hemispheres. All of this is occurring at a
time when genetics has never been more powerfully placed to advance the health and
wellbeing of those in both developed and low-income settings. As we move forward, we
need to anticipate where scientific advances will be moving us, how these can be applied
to improve health for all, how we can continue to engage and support investigators new
to our field, and how we can help society as a whole better understand the promise of
human genetics as well as the challenging ethical and political hurdles our field faces.
Over the next week in this historic city, wewill have the opportunity tomeet with old friends,
make new friends, and hear from the best and the brightest about amazing advances in
science, education, and policy. We hope that all of you can also use this time to engage in
conversation about how you would like to see our Society grow, continue to succeed, and
become an increasingly important component of solving the many challenges we face in
both health and disease. It’s a great honor for me to serve as president and, in particular,
to celebrate this role in a city in which I have both strong personal and professional ties.
I look forward to interacting with many of you over the coming days.
Jeff Murray, MD
President, ASHG
University of Iowa