ASHG opposes the White House’s new Executive Order as it imposes new restrictions on visas used by early-career international scientists

Media Contact: Kara Flynn, ASHG Senior Director, Public Engagement, Communications & Marketing, 202.257.8424,

For Immediate Release

ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) opposes and urges the White House to rescind its Executive Order issued yesterday, as it will significantly impede the progress of science and better human health by limiting international collaboration, training, and research in the United States. The order will impose new restrictions on visas commonly used by early-career international scientists to study and advance research in the United States.

“ASHG is deeply committed to a diverse and inclusive research workforce and honors those who come to U.S. labs from across the world to contribute to genetics and genomics advances in this country,” said ASHG President Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD.  “Their experiences enrich American science and global science, and it is precisely America’s commitment to international collaboration that has made the U.S. a recognized global scientific leader. As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic illustrates, we should be expanding global research connections that harness all minds to solve a problem, not closing our doors. ”

ASHG is the world’s largest genetics organization, and nearly one-third of its members reside outside the U.S. There is a long-established practice of U.S. research labs recruiting talented trainee scientists to US labs from other countries, advancing biomedical research and growing the U.S. economy. The Society has long recognized the important contributions to the genetics and genomics enterprise that come from all over the world and believes that research in the U.S. benefits greatly from the influx of international researchers to laboratories around the country.

“National policies need to support scientific progress and the significant investment of the American people in research,” Dr. Wynshaw-Boris said. “We should be sending a message to the best and brightest young scientists from around the world that they are welcome. Science is an international endeavor and contributions to that endeavor should not be limited by national borders.”

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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