BETHESDA, Md., April 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) welcomed five new directors, including a new president-elect, to its Board of Directors at the 2021 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting – A Virtual Experience. The new Board members will serve as advocates for the organization and will assist in shaping and implementing the mission, vision, and direction of the College. The five newly elected directors will serve six-year terms from April 2021 to March 2027.
"I have enjoyed the chance to meet our recently elected Board members. Each of them offers unique perspectives, new insights and opportunities to advance ACMG's strategic plan," said Anthony Gregg, MD, MBA, FACMG, president of the ACMG. "I hope every ACMG member feels comfortable reaching out to the Board with the goal of moving our strategic plan forward. There are many ways to "plug in."
Susan D. Klugman, MD, FACMG: President-Elect
President-Elect Susan Klugman is currently director of the Division of Reproductive and Medical Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Klugman's clinical practice focuses on prenatal and cancer genetics. She is also program director for the Clinical Medical Genetics Residency that spans both the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Klugman graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science with honors in Biometry and Statistics. She then earned her MD from New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Klugman completed her obstetrics and gynecology and clinical genetics training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. She practiced as an Ob/GYN generalist for ten years and served as the medical director of the Larchmont Women's Center before completing her genetics training. Dr. Klugman, a professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, is board certified in clinical genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) and in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).
Dr. Klugman has served on the ACMG Board of Directors since 2015. She was the vice president for clinical genetics and the Board liaison for the Professional Practice and Guidelines and the Government Affairs and Advocacy Committees, and, previously, the Social, Ethical and Legal Issues (SELI) Committee. While on the Education and CME Committee, she co-chaired the mentor and trainee luncheon at the ACMG Annual Meeting. She recently completed a six-year term on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Review Committee for Medical Genetics and was president of the program directors' group of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (APHMG). Dr. Klugman is ACMG's representative to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates, liaison to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Genetics, and reproductive genetics editor for Genetics in Medicine.
Dr. Klugman divides her time between clinical practice (primarily related to prenatal and cancer genetics), teaching, research and administrative duties. She has participated in multiple local and national clinical trials and co-authored 35 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Klugman has spoken extensively at regional and national medical conferences including more than 70 invited presentations in the last 10 years. She is a reviewer for several journals and is currently co-investigator on three grants.
Dr. Klugman is a mentor for many high school, college and medical students, residents and fellows and has helped many of them present at national meetings and publish peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Klugman is a known community lecturer and educator. She has appeared on several national television news programs on topics relating to prenatal and cancer genetics and has spoken with the national media as an ACMG Board member. She is passionate about disseminating the correct information about genetic screening and testing.
On becoming ACMG president-elect, Dr. Klugman said, "Genetics and genomics has quickly become a part of almost every medical specialty. ACMG is challenged with not only educating but integrating genetics and thereby improving healthcare. It has been an honor to serve on the board with such outstanding colleagues and I look forward to continuing the mission of the college as President-Elect."
Shweta Dhar, MD, MS, FACMG: Clinical Genetics Director
Dr. Dhar is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular & Human Genetics and Department of Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) where she serves as medical director of the Adult Genetics Division at BCM, chief of the Genetics service at Harris Health System and chief of the Section of Genetic Medicine at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Recently, she has been appointed as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Genomics as well as the lead for Genomic Medicine for VISN 16 (South Central VA Network), which is one of 18 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Dhar is a clinician-educator and divides her time between her clinical services at the Baylor private practice group, the county health system and the Veterans Affairs hospital, in addition to providing genetics education for medical students and fellows. She is the course director for the Genetics course for the medical students, and co-directs the Genetics & Genomics Pathway as well as several clinical and pre-clinical electives. She is also involved in the Undiagnosed Disease Network and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) project for genomics education of health educators. She has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications, contributed chapters for Emory & Rimoin's Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics & Genomics, Rudolph's Pediatrics and BMJ Best Practice, and served as a reviewer for a variety of journals. She is a contributing author and editor-in-chief for the Handbook of Clinical Adult Genetics & Genomics: A Practice-Based Approach, which is an important and much-needed resource on the practice of adult genetics. Dr. Dhar's service to the ACMG includes being a member and past chair of the ACMG Adult Genetics Special Interest Group (SIG). She led the SIG from 2013-2019 and was instrumental in establishing the adult genetics case conference webinar. She has been a member of the ACMG Education and CME Committee since 2016 and serves as course director for the Genetics 101 course, an educational program offered by ACMG to increase genetics knowledge among nongenetics providers.
She is also a member of the course directors SIG for the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (APHMG). Dr. Dhar was also responsible for launching the Adult Genetics Diagnostic Dilemma session at the ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in 2016, which has now become a permanent feature of the ACMG Annual Meeting.
Dr. Dhar graduated from the Nathiba Hargovandas Lakhmichand (NHL) Municipal Medical College followed by residency in pathology at the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. She subsequently completed a MS in Biotechnology at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, followed by a residency in internal medicine at New York Downtown Hospital in New York, New York, and a fellowship in clinical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is board certified in clinical genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics & Genomics (ABMGG) and internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
"I am honored and humbled to be elected by the ACMG membership to the Board of Directors. This is an exciting time to be in the field of genetics and genomics and I look forward to working with the other directors to further the strategic plans and mission of the college," says Dr. Dhar on becoming an ACMG clinical genetics director.
Hutton M. Kearney, PhD, FACMG: Cytogenetics Director
Dr. Kearney is vice chair of Hereditary Genomics in the Mayo Clinic Division of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics and assistant professor of laboratory medicine and pathology. She previously served as cytogenetics director and associate molecular diagnostics director at the Fullerton Genetics Center, Mission Health System and assistant/associate director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at Duke University Health Systems. She holds dual ABMGG board certifications in clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics. Dr. Kearney has been an active fellow of the ACMG since 2005, providing service through multiple committees. She is currently a member of the ACMG Continuing Certification Program Committee. Previously, she chaired the ACMG Laboratory Quality Assurance Committee. She has also served as cytogenetics and laboratory genetics and genomics section editor for Genetics in Medicine. Dr. Kearney serves on the board of directors of the Medical Genome Initiative and is a previous board member and president of the Cancer Genomics Consortium and the American Cytogenetics Conference. She is an active member of ClinGen, currently serving on the Dosage Sensitivity Task Force. Dr. Kearney also serves on the Cytogenetics Resource Committee of the College of American Pathologists and is on the Molecular and Clinical Genetics Devices expert panel of the FDA. Dr. Kearney is an advocate for rapid adoption and rigorous application of novel genomic technologies and educational programs to support clinical laboratories. Accordingly, she has authored numerous professional standards and guideline publications on behalf of ACMG, the Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), and ClinGen, primarily related to implementation and interpretation of chromosomal microarray and other whole-genome testing approaches. She has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, reviews, and book chapters. Her research interests include mechanisms of DNA repair and recombination underlying complex genomic structural variation.
Dr. Kearney received her BS in Secondary Education (Biology/Chemistry) from Auburn University. She received her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) and an ABMGG fellowship in clinical cytogenetics. Soon after, Dr. Kearney completed an ABMGG fellowship in clinical molecular genetics at Duke University.
"I am so pleased to serve the ACMG in this role. I look forward to helping advance the mission of the College and doing my part to ensure impactful delivery of clinical genomic services," said Dr. Kearney on becoming ACMG cytogenetics director.
David A. Stevenson, MD, FACMG: Clinical Genetics Director
Dr. Stevenson is a professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Medical Genetics at Stanford University. He previously served as director of the Pediatric Pre-Award Grant Services and program faculty for the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling for the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Utah. He is co-director of the Stanford Genetic Testing Optimization Service, and service chief for the Division of Medical Genetics. He is the program director for the Stanford Categorical Medical Genetics Residency and the Combined Pediatrics-Medical Genetics Residency. Dr. Stevenson has been a member of the ACMG Annual Meeting Program Committee since 2017. He currently serves as a section editor for Genetics in Medicine. He is actively involved in syndrome support groups serving on the Professional Advisory Committee for the Costello Syndrome Family Support Network, the Medical Advisory Board for Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome International, and on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Prader-Willi Syndrome Association-USA. Dr. Stevenson is also actively involved in a combination of clinical medical genetics practice, medical genetics education, and research. He has received funding from a variety of sources including the NIH, Department of Defense, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Thrasher Research Fund. He has a variety of research interests including RASopathies, bone disorders, vascular anomalies, and genotype-phenotype relations. Dr. Stevenson is also an author on more than 130 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Stevenson graduated summa cum laude from Utah State University with a BA in Biology, and subsequently received his MD from the University of Utah. He completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of New Mexico in 2002 before completing 3 years of training in medical genetics at the University of Utah in 2005.
On becoming an ACMG clinical genetics director, Dr. Stevenson said, "I am excited to serve on the ACMG Board of Directors and interact with a large group of individuals focused on understanding and taking care of individuals with genetic disorders. The field of medical genetics is rapidly expanding and it is an exciting time to develop and implement effective programs, and I hope to contribute to this process."
Jerry Vockley, MD, PhD, FACMG: Biochemical Genetics Director
Dr. Vockley is chief of the Division of Medical Genetics and director of the Center for Rare Disease Therapy at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is also the Cleveland Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He has served on numerous national and international scientific boards including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. He is a founding fellow of the ACMG and has served on the ACMG Program Committee, chaired the ACMG Therapeutics Committee, and helped establish the original ACMG Clinical Guidelines Working Group. He is founder of the International Network on Fatty Acid Oxidation Research and Therapy, has served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Newborn Screening Advisory Committee, and is past president of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders. Dr. Vockley is co-founder and director of the North American Metabolic Academy and is a faculty member for the Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SSIEM) Metabolic Academy. Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of inborn errors of metabolism, he has authored 280 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, as well as numerous book chapters and reviews. Throughout Dr. Vockley's career, he has taken an integrative approach to the study of inborn errors of metabolism, utilizing the best available tools to study their origin and impact on health. He has made seminal contributions to the fields of branched chain amino acid metabolism and fatty acid oxidation, including redefining these metabolic pathways. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for this work since 1992. In addition to his laboratory work, Dr. Vockley is an active clinical investigator holding multiple NIH R01 grants to study treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU). He was principle investigator of studies for the FDA approval of triheptanoin, the first such medication for long chain fatty acid oxidation disorders, which he helped develop.
Dr. Vockley received his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his MD as well as his PhD in genetics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was recipient of a Medical Scientist Training Program award. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and the Denver Children's Hospital, and his postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics and pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. He is boarded by the ABMGG in clinical genetics, and clinical biochemical/molecular genetics. He is a founding fellow of the College. He currently serves as chief of the division of Genetic and Genomic Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Upon being elected ACMG biochemical director, Dr. Vockley said, "I have been involved in College activities since its founding and am happy to play a larger role in moving it forward during a time of explosive growth in genetic technology and clinical need."
ACMG also thanks the following Board members who are completing their terms of service:Tina M. Cowan, PhD, FACMG; Louanne Hudgins, MD, FACMG; Katy Phelan, PhD, FACMG; and Amy E. Roberts, 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 ACMGFoundation
Founded in 1991, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) is the only nationally recognized medical professional organization solely dedicated to improving health through the practice of medical genetics and genomics, and the only medical specialty society in the US that represents the full spectrum of medical genetics disciplines in a single organization. The ACMG is the largest membership organization specifically for medical geneticists, providing education, resources and a voice for more than 2,400 clinical and laboratory geneticists, genetic counselors and other healthcare professionals, nearly 80% of whom are board certified in the medical genetics specialties. ACMG's mission is to improve health through the clinical and laboratory practice of medical genetics as well as through advocacy, education and clinical research, and to guide the safe and effective integration of genetics and genomics into all of medicine and healthcare, resulting in improved personal and public health. Four overarching strategies guide ACMG's work: 1) to reinforce and expand ACMG's position as the leader and prominent authority in the field of medical genetics and genomics, including clinical research, while educating the medical community on the significant role that genetics and genomics will continue to play in understanding, preventing, treating and curing disease; 2) to secure and expand the professional workforce for medical genetics and genomics; 3) to advocate for the specialty; and 4) to provide best-in-class education to members and nonmembers. Genetics in Medicine, published monthly, is the official ACMG journal. ACMG's website (www.acmg.net) offers resources including policy statements, practice guidelines, educational programs and a 'Find a Genetic Service' tool. The educational and public health programs of the ACMG are dependent upon charitable gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals through the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine.