By ASHG President Brendan Lee, MD, PhD
The celebration of ASHG’s 75-year anniversary is fast approaching at this year’s annual meeting! The Society is thrilled to be in Washington, DC for our 74th Annual Meeting. DC is one of the finest destinations for scientific research in the world with many universities and institutions with outstanding genetic and genomic research, including the National Institutes of Health. We have had an exciting year so far of research in the field, including significant advances that are driving us toward new innovations that have the potential to alleviate diseases and disorders. The ASHG 2023 Annual Meeting will highlight the best and most compelling human genetics and genomics research worldwide.
Not to be missed is the Presidential Symposium on Friday evening, titled “Delivering on the Promise and Future of Genetic and Genomic Medicine, Not a Sisyphean Task.” Genomics and genetics research in recent decades have been transformed by technologies that are now being used in the areas of diagnostics and therapeutics. However, there are limitations to achieving broad impacts of genomic medicine on society and health. How do we keep this from becoming a Sisyphean task? In a timely dialogue, Donald Kohn, MD, Dennis Lo, MD, PhD, and Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, will explore the enormous research advances of genetics and genomics research in the past two decades, examples of successful clinical implementation, and the continuing challenges of health access disparity. We want to ultimately convey the power and successes of genomic medicine, but also to remind ourselves of the importance of the continued need to increase access to current and future genomic medicine discoveries.
ASHG’s Program Committee, led by Mete Civelek, PhD, has spent a great deal of time putting together a tremendous 2023 program of events including the Distinguished Speakers Symposium featuring leaders who have blazed new conceptual and technological trails in the field and will share their opinions on the important areas of opportunity for the future of human genetics. The Program Committee will begin reviewing the competitive group of abstract submissions and looks forward to finalizing a schedule full of new, collaborative, thought-provoking content. There is plenty to begin adding to your schedule already. The Invited Sessions and Invited Workshops schedules are available and are rigorously curated to provide you with a diverse set of topics. In addition, attendees can enjoy interactions with 250+ exhibitors eager to show the latest technology to power your next discovery, 3000+ posters, including Reviewer’s Choice Awards, 16 Invited Sessions, 328 Platform Talks, 15 Plenary Talks, and almost 100 CoLabs and Industry Education Events!
This year, ASHG 2023 also marks the continuation of the Society’s 75th anniversary with special lectures and events that honor our community’s history of discovery and that look toward what we might know in the years ahead. As you scan the Preliminary Program, take note of the enormous range of opportunities and the 75th anniversary celebratory lectures and symposia. Start planning your schedule to make the most of an amazing week of human genetics and genomics research and celebrations with other remarkable scientists from across the globe, and thousands of you — ASHG members — presenting your research and engaging in scientific discourse, sharing and seeding new ideas that will feed the discussion on the future of human genetics and genomics.
One exciting new event on this year’s schedule for ASHG 2023 will be a closing gala reception honoring the Society’s 75th Anniversary on Saturday, November 4, 7:00-10:00 pm at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Themed “One Humanity, Many Genomes,” the event will shine a spotlight on 75 years of innovation in the field and why genetic and genomic research matters to humankind. The evening will include drinks, appetizers, and live music from Ethidium Spill featuring ASHG members Francis Collins, Anthony Antonellis, and Elliott Margulies. Please remember to purchase a separate ticket for this event when you register for the annual meeting.
One way you can become a part of this landmark event is to share photos of your lab, research, technologies, and yourselves on ASHG’s social media channels from the last 75 years to exemplify the breadth of our field, the collaborative and global nature of genetics and genomics, and the progress we have collectively made in advancing knowledge and discoveries in human health. The 75th anniversary is marked by a sense of both gratitude and celebration as ASHG’s members are the soul and backbone of this organization. They inspire us to reach higher every day. This year is a celebration of their contributions and of those who came before us. The 75th is a significant milestone, but ASHG will be marking many more milestones in the years to come.
I look forward to connecting with you at a lecture, on the poster floor, or during one of our socials, and learning more about your science and what is inspiring you this year. See you in Washington, DC! I want to thank all of you who have contributed to and who will contribute to ASHG pushing the scientific bar higher, year after year, to make the Society’s annual meeting second to none.