ASHG Announces 2020 Board of Directors

Published: Monday, July 29, 2019, 12:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Media Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan, 301.634.7346,

President-elect Gail Jarvik, Three New Directors to Take Office in January 2020

ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is pleased to announce the election of Gail P. Jarvik, MD, PhD, as ASHG’s 2020 President-elect; and of Soma Das, PhD; Eimear E. Kenny, PhD; and Charmaine D. M. Royal, PhD, MS, to the ASHG Board of Directors. Their three-year terms will begin on January 1, 2020.

Gail P. Jarvik, MD, PhD, is the Arno G. Motulsky Endowed Chair in Medicine (Medical Genetics), Professor of Medicine, Professor of Genome Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She is an internist and medical geneticist who cares for adult medical genetics patients. Her research focuses on the genetics of complex diseases, genetic epidemiology, statistics genetics, and genomic medicine implementation. A longtime member of ASHG, she served on the Society’s Program Committee from 2008-12, the Nominations Committee in 2011, and the Board of Directors from 2015-18. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors, and is on the editorial board of The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG), an ASHG journal.

Soma Das, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Director of the Genetic Services Laboratory at the University of Chicago. A longtime member of ASHG, her research focuses on molecular diagnostics of orphan genetic disorders, genotype-phenotype correlation in neurogenetic disorders, molecular genetics of ataxia, and mutation detection methodologies.


Eimear E. Kenny, PhD, is Director of the Center for Genomic Health, Associate Professor of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her work is focused on population and statistics genetics, including biobank- and cohort-based research on risk for complex traits, implementation of genomic and precision medicine, public health genomics, and health disparities research. An ASHG member since 2009, she currently serves on the editorial board of AJHG.

Charmaine D. M. Royal, PhD, MS, is Associate Professor in the Department of African & African American Studies and in the Departments of Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. She is also Director of the Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference; and Director of the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at Duke University. Her research focuses on the scientific, clinical, ethical, social, and policy implications of genetic and genomic research in Africa and the African Diaspora; and on public and professional perspectives and practices regarding constructs of race, ethnicity, ancestry, and other descent-related identities. A longtime member of ASHG, she served on the Society’s Social Issues Committee from 2006-12, including three years as chair from 2009-11; and on its Nominating Committee from 2009-10.

The new Board members were nominated by ASHG members and elected by members last month, and will join the remainder of the 2020 Board of Directors:

  • Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, 2020 President
  • Leslie G. Biesecker, MD, 2019 President (2020 Past President)
  • Bruce D. Gelb, MD, Treasurer
  • Robin L. Bennett, MS, CGC, Director
  • Dana C. Crawford, PhD, Director
  • Katrina A. B. Goddard, PhD, Director
  • Neil A. Hanchard, MBBS (Hons.), DPhil, Director
  • Donna M. Martin, MD, PhD, Director
  • John V. Moran, PhD, MS, Director
  • Zachary S. Nevin, PhD, Director
  • Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD, Director

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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