National DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. This year marks the 16th anniversary of DNA Day, which will be on Wednesday, April 25, 2019.

ASHG commemorates DNA Day each year through its DNA Day Essay Contest, which invites students in grades 9-12 worldwide to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Entries are evaluated by over 300 ASHG members who volunteer as judges, and results announced on April 25.

Join the genetics and genomics community in celebrating the 16th anniversary of National DNA Day!

Before DNA Day

Find a Local Event – The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has assembled a map of events taking place at schools, universities, and other locations across the country. Find one near you and join in!

Register an Event – If you are planning your own event for DNA Day, get the word out by registering it on NHGRI’s website. Unsure where to start? Check out the DNA Day Starter Kit.

Follow the ’15 for 15’ Celebration – Since 2003, there have been many important discoveries in genetics and genomics that have the potential to transform our world. Starting April 5, we and our DNA Day partners will highlight a new advance each day along with related resources that show how far we’ve come.

Explore ASHG Infographics – Download, print, and share our new infographics summarizing several of the ‘15 for 15’ topics that are important in clinical practice:

  • April 5: DNA sequencing
  • April 9: cancer genomics
  • April 13: rare genetic diseases
  • April 16: pharmacogenomics
  • April 17: prenatal genetic testing
DNA sequencing
Cancer Genomics - Tumor Profiling
Rare Disease
Non-invasive Prenatal Genetic Testing


Along with the members of the GMEC consortium, we would like to thank June C. Carroll, MD, University of Toronto and Vivian J. Weinblatt, MS, CGC, Integrated Genetics for their help with these infographics.

DNA Day – April 25

Read the Winning DNA Day Essays – At noon U.S. Eastern Time, we’ll reveal the winners and honorable mentions of our 14th annual DNA Day Essay Contest. See the winners' page for the winning essays. Join us in celebrating the next generation of scientists!


ASHG2019 logo

Watch the Annual Speaker Series – At 4:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time, NHGRI will host an in-person and webcast talk by Olivier Noel, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of DNAsimple. Dr. Noel, who was recently interviewed for ASHG’s Career Corner series, will present on entrepreneurship and startups in science.

Ask a Geneticist Anything – From April 20-27, NHGRI will host a series of Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) events on Reddit, addressing a different topic each day. AMAs will take place from 1:00-3:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time daily.

Get Involved in ASHG

Join ASHG – The world’s largest human genetics community, ASHG works to advance human genetics in science, health, and society through excellence in research, education, and advocacy.

Attend the ASHG Annual Meeting – ASHG 2018, held in San Diego, California from October 16-20, 2018, provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge science in all areas of human genetics.