ASHG Announces 2021 Board of Directors

Published: Monday, July 27, 2020, 12:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Media Contact: Kara Flynn, 202-257-8424,

President-elect Charles Rotimi, Four New Directors to Take Office in January 2021

ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is pleased to announce the election of Charles Rotimi, PhD as ASHG’s 2021 President-elect; and to the ASHG Board of Directors. Their three-year terms will begin January 1, 2021.

Charles Rotimi, PhD Charles P. Rotimi, PhD, is a genetic epidemiologist who has conducted innovative research to understand the genomic, social and cultural determinants of metabolic diseases with implications for health disparities. His lab published the first genome-wide association study of hypertension in African Americans, which identified multiple significant variants in genes, with one (CACNA1H) already a drug target for a class of calcium channel blockers. His lab has discovered African-specific variants for diabetes, obesity, lipids, and metabolic syndrome, which have provided insights into the pathogenesis of these traits in African ancestry populations. A longtime member of ASHG, he served on the Society’s Board of Directors from 2015-18 and currently serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

Heather C. Mefford, MD, PhD, is professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and attending physician, Genetic Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Mefford has a research laboratory devoted to the discovery of novel genomic disorders and conditions caused by small deletions or duplications of DNA. She has served on the Society’s Scientific Publishing Planning Group, Search Committee for the HGG Advances Editor-in-Chief, Finance & Audit Committee, and chaired the Program Committee. She also serves on the American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) Editorial Board.

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML, is professor of Cardiovascular Medicine & Genetics and Director of Penn Institute’s Genetics & Epigenetics Origins of Disease Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Scientific Director, Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. He works to understand how human genetic variation insulates and predisposes people from cardiovascular and metabolic disease and uses this knowledge to generate new preventions and treatments. He has chaired the ASHG Program Committee and currently serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

Early Career Director

Claudia Gonzaga Jauregui, PhD is Senior Manager for Mendelian Genetics, Regeneron Genetics Center. Her research centers on Mendelian genetics, rare diseases, molecular genetics, human genomic variation, genomic sequencing, structural variation, genomic disorders, functional genomics, founder population genetics, and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has served on the Society’s former Information & Education Committee and currently serves on the Public Engagement and Awareness Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

Trainee Director

Ebony Shah-Williams, MS is a PhD candidate at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her research interests include health disparities research, population genetics, pharmacogenetics, Taxane Induced Peripheral neuropathy, breast cancer, serious adverse drug events, clinical pharmacology, and clinical trials. She has been a member of the Society since 2019 and is a member of the Human Genetics Scholar Initiative community.

The new Board members were nominated by ASHG members and elected by members earlier this month, and will join the remainder of the 2021 Board of Directors:

  • Gail P. Jarvik, MD, PhD, 2021 President
  • Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, Past President
  • Bruce D. Gelb, MD, Treasurer
  • Donna M. Martin, MD, PhD, Secretary
  • Robin L. Bennett, MS, CGC, Director
  • Dana C. Crawford, PhD, Director
  • Soma Das, PhD, Director
  • Eimear E. Kenny, PhD, Director
  • Donna M. Martin, MD, PhD, Director
  • John V. Moran, PhD, MS, Director
  • Charmaine Royal, 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:

6120 Executive Blvd, Suite 500 | Rockville, MD 20852 | 301.634.7300 | |
Connect with ASHG on Twitter (@GeneticsSociety) | Facebook | LinkedIn

ASHG uses cookies to provide you with a secure and custom web experience. Privacy Policy