ASHG Honors Elaine Zackai with Inaugural Mentorship Award

Media Contact:
Nalini Padmanabhan
ASHG Communications Manager

For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 23, 2016
9:00 am U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-05:00)

Pediatric Clinical Geneticist to Receive Award at ASHG 2016 Annual Meeting

Elaine Zackai, MD, recipient of ASHG’s 2016 Mentorship Award (Credit: Jerry Meyer Studio, New York)

BETHESDA, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Elaine H. Zackai, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); and Professor of Pediatrics in Human Genetics and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; as the first-ever recipient of its Mentorship Award.

This award recognizes ASHG members who have significant records of accomplishment as mentors. It is open to individuals at all academic ranks who have shown a sustained pattern of exemplary mentorship at the graduate student, postdoctoral, residency, or fellowship level. The award presentation, which includes a plaque and $10,000 prize, will take place on Friday, October 21, during ASHG’s 66th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Dr. Zackai’s nomination included testimonials from 38 former trainees who now occupy research and clinical positions at institutions around the world,” said Raju Kucherlapati, PhD, chair of the ASHG Awards Committee. “Their comments credited her dedication to her students, leadership by example, compassion for patients, and rigorous approach to diagnosis with inspiring them to successful careers in human genetics.”

After receiving her MD in 1968, Dr. Zackai completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in medical genetics. Since then, she has held faculty and hospital appointments at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania, where she has focused on diagnosis, dysmorphology, and applied clinical research responding to real-world situations.

A longtime member of ASHG, Dr. Zackai served on its Awards and Abstract Review Committees in 1998. She has received many awards over the years, including the Blockley-Osler Award for excellence in teaching medicine in 2002, the Master Clinician Award presented by the CHOP Department of Pediatrics in 2007, and the CHOP Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. She has authored more than 200 scientific articles in the past 40 years.

About the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. Its nearly 8,000 members include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses, and others with an interest in human genetics. The Society serves scientists, health professionals, and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the ASHG Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics; (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, visit:

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