2016 New Initiatives and Special Features

The ASHG 2016 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.


Joint Symposium with APS: Attaching Physiology to the Genome: Spotlight on Cardiovascular Genetics

This special Tuesday Symposium is a collaboration between ASHG and the American Physiological Society (APS). This session will bring together speakers from both societies to discuss the intersection between, and the interdependence of, genetics and physiology. Speakers and session details will be available soon. This event requires separate registration through the registration form.


Genetic Counselors Lunch with ASHG Experts

Genetics experts will discuss their research and its application to clinical practice. Learn about what’s coming that will impact genetics practice in the future. This event requires separate registration through the registration form.


Poster TalksPoster Talks

To highlight the highest scoring posters, the Program Committee will include a Poster Talk session on Tuesday, October 18, from 7:00-9:00 pm. These three-minute talks with no questions will consist of a set number of slides in a preset format. This new initiative aims to draw attention to high-quality posters, and to help stimulate further discussion during the Poster Sessions. The event is open to all scientific registrants. Refreshments will be served.


Diagnostic Challenges

Based on feedback received, the Diagnostic Challenges session has been revamped and will include broader content, including discussion of adult-onset phenotypes.


Child Care at Meeting

ASHG is pleased to announce that for the first time, child care will be available at the meeting. Please see General Information for details.


Enhanced Clinical Content

To better address the needs of clinicians attending the meeting, the ASHG Program Committee plans to improve its clinical content through a variety of mechanisms.


Opening Reception

In order to accommodate everyone in one room, the Opening Reception will be held outside of the main Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, October 19, from 6:30-8:00 pm. The reception will be located in Hall B of the East Building (located directly under the Pan Pacific Hotel).


Plenary TalksMore Plenary Talks

To increase the time attendees spend together, the ASHG Program Committee increased the number of abstract-driven plenary talks from six to twelve. The talks will be given over three days, with four talks per session scheduled at the end of each day (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday). This change will have the added benefit of gathering all attendees in a single group as the day ends, which the Program Committee hopes will stimulate discussion and allow for individuals to meet for evening activities.


New Format for Award Presentations

Rather than presenting all ASHG awards in a single session, the Program Committee decided to break this content into multiple events. Each awardee will present to attendees after an afternoon plenary session as follows: Tuesday, October 18 (McKusick and Stern Award Presentations), Wednesday, October 19 (Allan Award Presentation), and Friday, October 21 (Education, Advocacy, and Mentorship Award Presentations).


New Mentorship Award

ASHG introduced a new Mentorship Award in 2016 to draw attention to outstanding human genetics mentors. The award is open to individuals at all academic ranks who have demonstrated a sustained pattern of exemplary mentorship at the graduate student, postdoctoral, residency, or fellowship level.


Developing Country Awards

ASHG is providing scholarship awards for individuals living in countries categorized by the World Bank as having low-income or lower-middle-income economies. To be considered for the award, you must submit an abstract by the June 2 deadline.


Focus on Genetics Policy and Advocacy

In addition to the annual Advocates Lunch, this year's meeting features an award talk and meet-and-greet session with the advocates behind Canada's Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (S-201), who received the 2016 Advocacy Award for their efforts. S-201 is currently under consideration by the Parliament of Canada.


New Format for Platform Sessions

To allow for more cohesive and varied Platform Sessions, the Program Committee has adjusted the schedule to include 9 sessions of eight talks each, 27 sessions of six talks, 9 sessions of five talks, and 9 sessions of four talks. Talks will be presented through the meeting in six concurrent time slots. Platform Sessions have also been moved to the beginning of the day.


Overlap of Lunches with Posters

To be able to end each day at a reasonable hour, this year’s schedule has a 30-minute overlap between lunchtime activities and Poster Sessions.