ASHG Announces Expansion to Developing Country Awards Program

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 2:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Media Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan, 301.634.7346,

25 Travel Awards Will Enhance Africa’s Participation in Scientific Dialogue

ROCKVILLE, Md. – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), is pleased to announce the addition of 25 awards to its annual Developing Country Awards Program. The new awards will enable 25 genetics trainees and/or early- to mid-career investigators from Africa who are currently working in Africa to attend the ASHG 2019 Annual Meeting, taking place October 15-19, 2019, in Houston, Texas. They will be supported by NHGRI; the Human, Heredity, and Health in Africa (H3Africa) consortium; and ASHG; and administered via the H3Africa Coordinating Center at the University of Cape Town.

“Through these awards, we hope to enhance the participation and visibility of promising African geneticists at the world’s largest genetics meeting,” said Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, 2019 Chair of the ASHG Program Committee. “By working to enrich the diversity of voices engaged in research worldwide, we reaffirm our commitment to global science, and we hope to grow similar partnerships in other regions in the future,” he said.

“In Africa, there is a growing research community using genomic methods in biomedical research to address the substantial disease burden,” explained Jennifer Troyer, PhD, H3Africa Program Director at NHGRI. “Over the past decade, the H3Africa Consortium and other international global health efforts have increased support for research leaders in Africa to address vital research topics there and to provide training for the next generation of African researchers, leading to the growth of genetics and genomics research on the continent,” said Dr. Troyer.

“We hope these awards will help to increase the interactions among international researchers, as well as increase the representation of research that engages diverse populations who have been traditionally underrepresented in the genetics and genomics research agenda” said Michelle Skelton, Principal Investigator of the H3Africa Coordinating Center.

To be considered for an award, interested applicants must submit an abstract to the ASHG 2019 Annual Meeting by the June 6, 2019 deadline, indicate that they wish to be considered for the award, and, if granted an award, attend the meeting. The applicant must be a citizen of and currently working in a country in Africa categorized by the World Bank as having a low-income or lower-middle-income economy (LMIC). Priority will be given to members of underrepresented groups who have not attended the ASHG meeting in the past and who do not have other resources with which to attend. The ASHG Program Committee will score all abstracts and select the 25 eligible applicants with the highest abstract scores to receive the award. Each awardee will receive travel support through the H3Africa program of up to $3,000 and complimentary registration to the ASHG 2019 Annual Meeting.

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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