ASHG 2019 in Houston Highlights Discoveries in Genetic Research and Progress to Improve Health, Treat Disease

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2019, 12:30 p.m. U.S. Central Time

Media Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan, 301.634.7346,

ROCKVILLE, MD – Thousands of genomics and genetics researchers, professors, doctors, genetic counselors, nurses, and others from around the world will gather in Houston, Texas, October 15-19, for ASHG 2019, to share their latest research about the benefits of human genetics and genomics research, one of the fastest growing fields of modern health care development. ASHG 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), is the world’s largest source of emerging news and cutting-edge science across the rapidly expanding fields of human genetics and genomics.

Scientists from nearly 80 countries will take part in more than 3,400 scientific presentations, workshops, and collaborative events. This will be the first time that Houston has hosted ASHG’s annual meeting since the organization was founded in 1948. Hosting ASHG 2019 in Houston, a major epicenter of biomedical and life sciences, offers ASHG and its members an outstanding venue to inform the general public of new scientific knowledge that is changing the way we diagnose and treat disease, understand human history, and unravel fundamental biologic mysteries. It comes at a time when Houston’s position as an international leader in biomedical research is growing rapidly and will expand with the construction of a collaborative 30-acre biomedical research campus downtown.

“The remarkable research that we will see at this meeting is transforming our knowledge about the role of genetics in human health and, increasingly, our ability to improve treatments and outcomes,” ASHG President Dr. Leslie G. Biesecker said. “This scientific progress will be on display in Bayou City and will demonstrate the essential role of robust funding for biomedical research to further revolutionize health care and successful treatments. ASHG 2019 is the ultimate opportunity to share new scientific discoveries with fellow scientists and the public.”

This year’s program features exciting sessions highlighting some of the breakthroughs in research progress:

“Perspectives on Germline Gene Editing Regulation” — A special session engaging researchers and leaders of the National Academies-led international commission about future regulatory and ethics frameworks for hereditary genome editing.
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2:30–4:00 p.m.

“Presidential Symposium on Genetic Exceptionalism” — What barriers have historically separated geneticists from other researchers and clinicians, and how can we break them down to ensure people everywhere realize the benefits or genetics and genomics research?
Thursday, Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.

In addition, ASHG will hold a special media availability with ASHG President Leslie Biesecker and ASHG Program Committee Chair Dr. Kiran Musunuru on Wednesday, October 16 from 10:00-10:30 a.m., exclusively for registered media. During this discussion, presenters will highlight new initiatives; findings related to basic, translational, and clinical genetics; therapeutics and drug discovery; population genetics and evolution; and more. Media can register for credentials at

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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