The Member Engagement Committee (MEC) has been working on major aspects of their action plan: ASHG Connect, an online forum for members and Shared Interest Groups (SIGs). Not only did the Annual Meeting bring the human genetics and genomics community back together in Los Angeles, but it also hosted three SIG meetups for interested members to network and learn from each other.
“The morning meetups were a great success in Los Angeles,” says MEC chair Nancy Spinner. “Despite the early morning start times, we welcomed many attendees who came to discuss their science and network, which tells us that we are onto something regarding SIGs!”
What are SIGs?
ASHG’s principal mission is representing, serving, and advocating for genetics and genomics researchers. The Society leads year-round programming, resources, and engagement opportunities for its members and SIGs help create the capacity to explore these areas by interest areas. The Membership Engagement Committee formed three, wide-ranging topics for inaugural SIGs and members from within the committee are currently serving as chairs: Augusto Rojas-Martinez, MD, PhD for Phenotypes & Genotypes, Minna Kaikkonne-Maata, PhD for Emerging Laboratory Technologies, and Paul Hook, BS/BA for Bioinformatics and Computational Approaches.
SIGs are available exclusively to members and the MEC hopes that they will help members connect with like-minded colleagues, tap into trustworthy sources to advance discovery and collaboration, and gather practical tips, educational opportunities, and best practices.
“We are exploring what members want most from SIGs,” Doug Dluzen, incoming MEC chair, said. “This is a great opportunity for members interested in more volunteer opportunities and networking within the society to contribute.”
Interested in Joining a SIG?
SIG participation is just one outstanding benefit for ASHG members. You can follow the steps on the ASHG Connect introduction webpage to join one or more SIGs and it’s also a great time to get familiar with ASHG Connect, where members can share resources and ask questions amongst peers within the SIG topics above, plus other topics like a community for early career and trainee members, for industry scientists, and another on topics around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Posting on ASHG Connect – whether within a SIG or in an open community – is a great way to get feedback from peers and share helpful resources. If you are interested in volunteering for a SIG, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.