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The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Announces New Board Members and President-elect

BETHESDA, Md., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) welcomed six new directors to its Board at its 2019 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting. As new Board members, they will serve as advocates for the organization and will assist in shaping and implementing the mission, vision, and direction of the College.

The six newly-elected directors will serve six-year terms from April 2019 to March 2026.

"Every two years we have the opportunity to inject some new insights and enthusiasm into the Board with new incoming Board members and a new President Elect," said Louanne Hudgins, MD, FACMG, president of the ACMG.  "This year is no exception.  I am very much looking forward to working with these talented, hardworking volunteers!"

1. Marc S. Williams, MD, FACMG: President-Elect

As ACMG's President-elect, Dr. Marc Williams is currently the Director of the Geisinger Genomic Medicine Institute having joined Geisinger in 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Williams completed a Pediatrics residency at the University of Utah. He practiced general pediatrics for 10 years before pursuing fellowship training in Medical Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He practiced pediatrics and clinical genetics at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin (1991-2004) and served as associate medical director for Gundersen Lutheran's provider-owned insurance company (1999-2004). From 2005 to 201, he served as the director of Intermountain Healthcare's Clinical Genetics Institute.

Dr. Williams' service to ACMG has been ongoing since 2000. He served on the committee on the Economics of Genetic Services from 2000-2007 (he was the chair 2000-2006). He co-chaired the ACMG Workgroup, Professional Practice and Guidelines for the use of Pharmacogenomic testing for Warfarin dosing. Dr. Williams also founded the Special Interest Group on Quality Improvement in Clinical Genetics (officially recognized as a SIG in March 2007), he was the chair from 2007-2009. He was a member of the initial Secondary Findings committee and co-author of the first publication on return of secondary findings from clinical sequencing. Dr. Williams was also the Director of the Board from 2007-2013 serving as Vice-President of Clinical Genetics from 2009-2013. He also was the Chair of the ACMG Ad Hoc Committee on the Value of a Genetic Diagnosis 2011-2013. Dr. Williams has been part of the ACMG Foundation development committee since 2013.

Dr. Williams graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Chemistry followed by an MD Degree. He is board-certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics, and Clinical Informatics. He completed advanced training in quality improvement and clinical re-engineering through Intermountain's Healthcare Delivery Institute's Advanced Training Program. Among his many accomplishments, he is the Geisinger PI for two NHGRI-funded cooperative agreements, the electronic Medicine Records in Genomics (eMERGE) network, and the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen). Dr. Williams has over 150 publications. Topics include: clinical genetics, economic evaluation and value of genetic services, implementation of genomic medicine, and use of informatics to facilitate genomic medicine. He co-authored the book Economic Evaluation of Genomic Medicine. Funding: NIH, PCORI. He continues to study rare genetic disease from the perspective of using variants identified through genome-scale sequencing to identify patients at potential risk for rare genetic disease.

On becoming President-Elect, Dr. Williams said, "The pace of implementation of genomics into clinical care is astounding and presents a tremendous opportunity for the ACMG to establish itself as the thought leader for precision health. I am honored and humbled to be able to participate in the leadership of ACMG during this exciting time."

2. Karen W. Gripp, MD, FACMG: Clinical Genetics Director

Dr. Gripp is currently chief of the Division of Medical Genetics at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and medical director of its molecular diagnostic laboratory. She is a professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University and chief medical officer of FDNA, a company developing next generation phenotyping applications. Dr. Gripp is director of the NF1/RASopathies clinic and co-director of the professional advisory board for Costello syndrome. She also serves on several other boards including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Data Safety Monitoring Board, the Scientific Advisory Board for the RASopathies Network, the board of the D.W. Smith Fund, and she is a co-chair for the 2019 International RASopathies Symposium. Dr. Gripp is a member of the ClinGen expert group on RASopathies.

Dr. Gripp's service to ACMG began as a member of the Education & CME Committee from 2009-2013. She continued her service to ACMG as a member of the Program Committee from 2013-2017, chairing the committee in 2015. She also served as a member of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Program Committee from 2007-2009 and a member of ASHG's clinical content workgroup in 2015. Dr. Gripp is on the organizing committee for the D. W. Smith Workshop on Malformation and Morphogenesis.  She served previously as an associate editor for the American Journal of Medical Genetics and is the editor in chief for the London Medical Database. She has also served on the Sudden Death of the Young Review Committee for the State of Delaware since 2015 and the Genetic Counselors Advisory Council of the Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline since 2010.

Dr. Gripp received her MD degree in Hamburg, Germany. Following a pediatric residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, she completed her fellowship training in genetics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania. She is board certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics. She is known for her dedicated and long-standing research interests in syndrome delineation, disease-related gene identification and genotype-phenotype correlation, including her work on Aymé-Gripp syndrome, lateral meningocele syndrome, PPP1CB- and MRAS-related Noonan syndromes, and Costello syndrome and related RASopathies. Dr. Gripp is the author of more than 140 peer-reviewed publications including book chapters, the Handbook of Physical Measurements and online presentations. Her recent publications have focused on the use of next generation phenotyping through digital facial analysis in research and clinical practice.

"It is an honor to work with such outstanding colleagues on the board guiding ACMG in this time of challenge and innovation in clinical genetics," Dr. Gripp said on becoming one of the new Clinical Genetics Directors.

3. Dietrich Matern, MD, PhD, FACMG: Biochemical Genetics Director

Dr. Matern is currently chair of the Division of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He holds a primary appointment in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, with joint appointments in the Department of Clinical Genomics and the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. He is a professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, medical genetics, and pediatrics. Dr. Matern has a primary interest in the biochemical diagnosis of inborn errors of metabolism. His research activities involve the development and improvement of laboratory assays for the effective and efficient screening, diagnosis and follow-up of patients with inborn metabolic diseases. Dr. Matern's research has been funded by the NICHD, ACMG's Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN), industry and not-for-profit organizations. His focus in recent years has been on newborn screening for lysosomal storage disorders. Dr. Matern has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and reviews and 20 textbook chapters, and has given more than 80 invited presentations at national and international meetings and institutions.

Dr. Matern has a long record of service to ACMG. He has been a member of ACMG's ACT Sheet and Confirmatory Algorithms Workgroup since 2005 and co-chair since 2016. From 2007-2012, he served on ACMG's Laboratory Quality Assurance Committee and, in 2012, served on ACMG's Nominations Committee. He is board certified in pediatrics in Germany, certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) in clinical biochemical genetics, and registered as a European Clinical Laboratory Geneticist by the European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG). Since 2001 he has been an active member of the Minnesota State Advisory Committee on Heritable and Congenital Disorders, and from 2011-2018 was a voting member of the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also served as a board member of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (SIMD) from 2008-2015 and faculty of SIMD's North American Metabolic Academy (NAMA) from 2007-2011.

Dr. Matern received his MD and PhD degrees from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich and completed a pediatric residency at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), he spent three months as a visiting scholar in the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at Duke University before he started fellowship training in clinical genetics and clinical biochemical genetics, also at Duke. In late 1999, during his third year of fellowship training, Dr. Matern moved to the Mayo Clinic where he completed his training and became co-director of the newly created Biochemical Genetics Laboratory.

Upon being elected, Dr. Matern said, "I'm deeply honored for having been elected by my peers to serve on the ACMG board. I look forward to working with the board to address the many and sometimes challenging opportunities for genetics and genomics, and hope to hear particularly from ACMG's Biochemical Geneticists to ensure I represent our subdiscipline effectively and fairly."

4. Michael F. Murray, MD, FACMG: Clinical Genetics Director

Dr. Murray is board certified in clinical genetics and internal medicine and serves as the director of clinical operations in the Center for Genomic Health at Yale University School of Medicine. From 2005-2012, he served as director of the adult genetics clinic and clinical chief of genetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), where he was on the faculty of the Harvard Genetics Training Program and director of the Combined Internal Medicine-Medical Genetics Program at BWH. From 2013-2018, he was director of clinical genomics and launched the MyCode return of genomic results program at Geisinger in 2015.

Dr. Murray currently serves on ACMG's Genomic Screening of Asymptomatic Patients workgroup. He has been a member of the Adult Genetics Special Interest Group since 2003, of which he was chair from 2006-2008. He was also a member of the ACMG Program Committee from 2006-2011, of which he was chair from 2009-2010.

Dr. Murray received his MD degree from Pennsylvania State University. After completing his internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, he completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. He later completed his clinical genetics residency in the Harvard Genetics Training Program. He has authored more than 80 published peer-reviewed works. His most recent publications have focused on the return of secondary or incidental genomic results in sequenced biobank cohorts to generate insights into population scale genomic screening. In addition, he has participated as a funded investigator in three NIH/NHGRI-funded research consortia: Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER), eMERGE and ClinGen. He serves on the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and he was the lead editor for Clinical Genomics: Practical Applications for Adult Patient Care.  He has led the development of continuing medical education opportunities for geneticists and non-geneticists.

"It is an honor to have the chance to serve the membership of the ACMG as a member of the board of directors.  I look forward to contributing to college efforts to add our collective expertise to important conversations about the role of genomics in health and disease," says Dr. Murray.

5. Cynthia M. Powell, MD, FACMG: Clinical Genetics Director

Dr. Powell is director of the medical genetics residency program, medical director of the UNC Hospitals Cytogenetics Laboratory, and president of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics. Since 1993, she has been a professor of pediatrics and genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is board certified in genetic counseling, clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and pediatrics.

Dr. Powell served as a member of the ACMG Education & CME Committee from 1998-2006. She also served on the Professional Practice and Guidelines Committee from 2013-2017. Nationally, she is recognized for her service, from 2006-2013, on the board of directors of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, of which she was president in 2012. Dr. Powell was appointed to the ACHDNC in 2017. She serves on the North Carolina Newborn Screening Advisory Committee and is a member and former president of the North Carolina Medical Genetics Association. She was a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Genetics and Birth Defects from 2006-2013 and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Residency Review Committee for Medical Genetics from 2006-2013.

Dr. Powell received her undergraduate degree in biology from Cornell University, her master's degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, and her MD degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia). She completed her residency in pediatrics at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC and her fellowship in medical genetics and cytogenetics at Children's National Medical Center and the NIH.

Dr. Powell's clinical and research interests include dysmorphology, genetic syndromes and ethical issues of genetic testing and newborn screening. She is principal investigator for a project funded by NIH to examine the use of next generation sequencing for newborn screening and is co-principal investigator of NIH-funded projects in North Carolina examining consented expanded newborn screening and state pilot studies screening for conditions that have recently been added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. She is an author on more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

"As a member of the ACMG since its inception, I am extremely honored to have an opportunity to serve on its board of directors.  This is such an exciting time to work in the field of clinical genetics, but also a time of many challenges including growing the numbers of genetic health care providers to ensure equitable and informed public access to advanced genomic technologies and treatments," says Dr. Powell on becoming an ACMG Clinical Genetics Director.

6. Heidi L. Rehm, PhD, FACMG: Molecular Genetics Director

Dr. Rehm is currently chief genomics officer at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical director of the Broad Institute's clinical laboratory. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Howard Hughes Medical Institute and her clinical molecular genetics fellowship training at Harvard Medical School, she joined the faculty of BWH and Harvard Medical School in 2002, and directed the Partners Healthcare Laboratory for Molecular Medicine until 2018.

Dr. Rehm's service to ACMG began as member of the ACMG Laboratory Quality Assurance Committee. Dr. Rehm was vital in the development of the first clinical next generation sequencing guideline and co-chaired the 2015 ACMG/AMP interpretation of sequence variants guideline. She was an author of the first ACMG secondary findings guideline and the recent ACMG statement on professional responsibilities regarding the provision of phenotypes in genetic and genomic testing. Dr. Rehm has held positions as program director of the Harvard Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship program from 2006-2015 and board member of the New England Regional Genetics Group from 2004-2012, of which she was president from 2008-2010. She is also an advisory board member of the Ensembl European Bioinformatics Institute and TOPMed program, as well as a Vice Chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

Dr. Rehm graduated from Middlebury College with a bachelor's degree in molecular biology and biochemistry. She received a master's degree in medical sciences from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in genetics from Harvard University. Her research interests include molecular diagnostics, genomic medicine implementation and the genetic basis of rare disease. She is a principal investigator of several NIH-funded programs including ClinGen, the Broad Institute Center for Mendelian Genomics, eMERGE and the Broad-LMM-Color All of Us Genome Center. Dr. Rehm is an author of more than 180 peer-reviewed publications.

"I am delighted to join the ACMG Board of Directors and help shape the next era of clinical genetics and genomics. It's an exciting time but we have much work to do to ensure the continued safe implementation of genomics into medicine," said Dr. Rehm on becoming the new Molecular Genetics Director.

ACMG Also Thanks Board Members Completing Their Terms:

Gerald Feldman, MD, PhD, FACMG; Kristin G. Monaghan, PhD, FACMG; Maren T. Scheuner, MD, MPH, FACMG; Joel Charrow, MD, FACMG; and Lorraine Potocki, MD, FACMG.

A complete list of the ACMG Board of Directors is available at www.acmg.net.   

About the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and ACMG Foundation

Founded in 1991, ACMG is the only nationally recognized medical society dedicated to improving health through the clinical practice of medical genetics and genomics. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (www.acmg.net) provides education, resources and a voice for more than 2,200 biochemical, clinical, cytogenetic, medical and molecular geneticists, genetic counselors and other healthcare professionals, nearly 80% of whom are board certified in the medical genetics specialties. The College's mission is to develop and sustain genetic initiatives in clinical and laboratory practice, education and advocacy. Three guiding pillars underpin ACMG's work: 1) Clinical and Laboratory Practice 2) Education and 3) Advocacy. Genetics in Medicine, published monthly, is the official ACMG peer-reviewed journal. ACMG's website (www.acmg.net) offers a variety of resources including Policy Statements, Practice Guidelines, Educational Resources, and a Find Genetic Services tool. The educational and public health programs of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics are dependent upon charitable gifts from corporations, foundations, and individuals through the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine.

Kathy Moran, MBA
Kmoran@acmg.net

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