New Initiatives and Special Features

The ASHG 2015 Annual Meeting features several new initiatives and special features to help attendees connect with the latest human genetics science – and one another – in novel, productive ways.

Early-Career Meet & Greet

Trainees: Get your ASHG 2015 experience off to a great start by networking with your peers at Tuesday night’s Early-Career Meet & Greet. This pub trivia event is a great opportunity to meet potential collaborators, make new friends, and win prizes.

Note: advance registration is required and space is limited.

Opening Poster Session and Reception

Celebrate the first full day of sessions, view posters, and visit exhibitor booths over light refreshments at the Opening Poster Session and Reception on Wednesday evening. Posters will be grouped by topic area, offering a logical way to find colleagues with similar interests and exchange ideas.

Themed ReceptionsThemed Receptions

This year’s meeting features two concurrent evening receptions on Thursday, each with a different human genetics theme to encourage discussion, networking, and collaboration.

One event celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Mendel’s landmark research on plant hybridization. View an exhibit from the Mendel Museum in Brno and take a quiz on his life and achievements for a chance to win prizes. The other reception follows a fast-paced “speed networking” format. Stop by to meet your invited session presenters, some of the biggest names in human genetics today.

Advocacy Award

On Friday, R. Rodney Howell will receive the ASHG Advocacy Award, new for 2015. This award honors those who have exhibited excellence and achievement in promoting human genetics science and its applications for the common good. Dr. Howell has led varied efforts to leverage biomedical and genetic advances to improve public health throughout his career, including advocacy for research and care for people with neuromuscular diseases and implementation of newborn genetic screening programs.

Restructured Business Meeting imageRestructured Business Meeting

The ASHG Policy Forum and Business Meeting follows a new, more interactive format this year, beginning with a discussion of the Social Issues Committee’s draft position statement on the ELSI implications of CRISPR-Cas9 technology and genome editing. This year’s Gruber Genetics Prize recipients, who pioneered the technology, will be in attendance. This policy forum will be followed by reports from the ASHG Board of Directors and committee chairs highlighting current Society business.

Trainee-Led Clinical Careers Panel

Friday afternoon’s session of the Trainee Professional Development Program features a panel discussion on clinical careers in human genetics, with emphasis on how PhDs can transition into clinical careers. This special, 1.5-hour session is organized and moderated by the ASHG Training and Development Committee.

Admission to this event is on a first-come, first-served basis. It does not require a ticket, but space will be limited.

Full Day of Content on Saturday

In contrast to previous years, this year’s meeting features a full fifth day of presentations and activities, including four plenary sessions and eight concurrent platforms on Saturday morning, and ten concurrent invited sessions that afternoon. Keep this in mind when making your travel plans; don’t miss out on the great science being presented!

Reviewer’s choice abstract postersReviewers’ Choice Abstract Posters

To recognize more of the high-quality abstracts submitted to the ASHG Annual Meeting each year, the 2015 Program Committee has decided to spotlight the top 10 percent of poster abstracts, as determined by reviewers’ scores. Keep an eye out for ribbons on these high-scoring posters as you make your way through the poster hall.

Not a reviewer? We are also highlighting “people’s choice” posters by enabling voting via the mobile app. Give a thumbs up to interesting posters and encourage your fellow attendees to seek them out as well.

Breakfast Workshops and Exhibitor Events

This year’s schedule features interactive invited workshops and exhibitor-led educational events, which include lunchtime and evening sessions as well as a new breakfast time slot. These seminars, workshops, lunches, and receptions offer a deeper look into specific scientific challenges genetics specialists face and useful ways to refine methods and enhance results.

These events take place in the Convention Center as well as surrounding hotels – learn your way through a new tool, explore the area, and get some fresh air at the same time!

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Revised Photo/Slide Sharing Policy

As in previous years, attendees are strictly prohibited from taking photos, recording audio, and recording video in session rooms. This means attendees may not take photos or video of speakers presenting or their slides.

New this year: For speakers who wish to share their slides with fellow meeting attendees, ASHG will set up a secure, slide-sharing website. When uploading their slides for presentation, speakers can check a box to also have their slides added to the secure site.

If the poster author agrees, attendees will be allowed to take photos of posters. Authors who do not want their posters photographed will indicate as such on their posters.

ashg tv-webs edge logo


In partnership with WebsEdge, we are producing ASHG TV, an on-site conference television channel featuring a new episode daily, which will be screened around the venue, in attendee hotel rooms, and online. Each episode features conference news segments, which include behind-the-scenes interviews and attendees’ reactions to the day; and Thought Leadership segments, which are documentary-style pieces filmed in advance.

Watch ASHG TV Online

Mobile App Improvements

This year’s mobile app has several new and upgraded features, beginning with a startup tour orienting users to lesser-known features and ways to optimize your experience.

  • Enhanced search and filtering to more easily find content of interest
  • Ability to map individual posters within the Exhibit Hall and vote for high-quality posters
  • Improved messaging to other attendees, including a ‘block’ feature

No Printed Program Addendum

In an effort to ‘go green,’ late-breaking changes to the ASHG 2015 Program will not be conveyed in print, but via meeting room slides, daily emails, the mobile app, and Twitter. Don’t miss key information – pay attention to these resources while on site.