New educational programs aim to integrate genetics and genomics into medicine

Published on June 11, 2014 at 11:14 PM · No Comments

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) announced today a formal collaboration under which the two organizations will produce and deliver high-quality educational programs to integrate genetic and genomic advances into healthcare.

"Human genetics and genomics are evolving rapidly and these advances are reshaping significant areas of the healthcare landscape and medical education," said Edison Liu, MD, President and CEO of JAX. "To keep pace with new developments and integrate them into clinical practice, JAX and ASHG will develop programs to educate groups such as students and trainees, primary care and other physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, and social workers."

ASHG and JAX share a history of working - both independently and together - to promote genetics education. Of note, ASHG members and JAX faculty have jointly organized and taught an annual, two-week "Short Course on Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics" at Bar Harbor for more than 50 years. Through the new collaboration, JAX and ASHG will further coordinate their educational activities by developing complementary programs and avoiding duplication of resources.

"ASHG and JAX are particularly well suited to advancing genetic and genomic literacy," said Joseph D. McInerney, MA, MS, Executive Vice President of ASHG. "The faculty and members of our two organizations are the individuals conducting the latest research into genetics and human health and disease. This collaboration will allow us to combine their areas of expertise and reach larger audiences than ever before."

JAX trustee and ASHG past president David Valle, MD, Henry J. Knott Professor and director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, commended the new collaboration. "This is an exciting and vital educational partnership to advance the integration of genetics and genomics into medicine at this critical time," he said.

The first joint JAX-ASHG educational program will aim to educate primary care physicians on cancer genetic testing. The program is slated for launch in November 2014 and at the new Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn.

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