American Society of Human Genetics Recognizes John V. Moran, Ph.D., with Curt Stern Award

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University of Michigan Professor will receive award at ASHG’s 2013 annual meeting BETHESDA, MD. – July 23, 2013 — The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named John V. Moran, Ph.D., Professor of Human Genetics and Professor of Internal Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, as the 2013 recipient of the Curt Stern Award.

This annual award, named in honor of the late pioneering geneticist Curt Stern, Ph.D., recognizes researchers who have made significant scientific contributions during the past decade. ASHG will present the award, which will include a crystal plaque and cash prize, on Saturday, October 26, during the organization’s 63rd annual meeting in Boston.

Dr. Moran, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has been a leader in research on genome instability and the biology of DNA sequences that can change their position in the genome, creating or reversing mutations and altering the genome’s size. Among his accomplishments is the discovery that processed pseudogenes are formed in the genome by the reverse transcriptase enzyme for the mobile DNA element referred to as L1. He developed the cell culture assay used in this research.

His finding that the L1 insertion can lead to deletions in the genome has been confirmed by human genome analysis as well as numerous other studies, demonstrating the importance of retrotransposition in shaping the human genome through evolutionary time, and showing that these L1 insertions occur much more frequently than previously thought.

The Curt Stern Award also recognizes Dr. Moran’s mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers as well ask his stalwart support of and service to ASHG.


Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. The nearly 8,000 members of ASHG include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses and others involved in or with a special interest in human genetics. The Societyʼs mission is to serve research scientists, health professionals and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the Societyʼs Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG); (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate current and future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, policymakers, educators, students and the public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information about ASHG, visit:

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