ASHG Applauds President Biden’s Selection of Eric Lander to Head OSTP

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 12:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Media Contact: Kara Flynn, 202.257.8424,


“The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) applauds the announcement of the nomination of Eric Lander, PhD, to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) by President Joseph Biden.  The announcement of the new team at the dawn of President Biden’s presidency, and elevating the Director of OSTP to a Cabinet position, is a positive sign that science, and scientists, will have a core role in the new Administration.

Dr. Lander has been a leader in the field of genomics from the initiation of the Human Genome Project. In 2004 he launched the Broad Institute, a research institution in which scientists collaboratively tackle challenges in genomic medicine—combining biology, chemistry, mathematics, computation, and engineering with medical science, clinical research, and open data-sharing. In 2018, he received ASHG’s William Allan Award in recognition of his far-reaching contributions to human genetics. We also applaud President Biden for appointing Alondra Nelson, PhD, as the first Deputy Director for Science and Society.  Dr. Nelson is a distinguished scholar and thought leader on the intersection of science, technology, and social inequalities. She has written numerous publications and award-winning books on genetics, race and history.  Further, we are grateful to President Biden for asking Francis Collins, MD, PhD, to continue his exemplary service as Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fundamental value of scientific inquiry for humanity, and the Society looks forward to working with Dr. Lander, Dr. Nelson, Dr. Collins and the Administration’s science team on advancing scientific approaches to resolve the problems facing the American people.  This will include the pursuit of policies that continue public investment in biomedical research, a regulatory environment that allows scientific discovery to thrive, and policies that facilitate health equity.”


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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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