Taking a look behind the scenes of the ACMG Annual Meeting, and the care and effort that go into making it one of the very best events out there.

The migration of genetics and genomics into the clinic is picking up pace rapidly. From the important advances in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), to the remarkable work at Rady Children’s Hospital using whole genome sequencing for diagnoses, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most exciting times for medical genetics ever. At the heart of that progress has been the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).

Check out the full ACMG preview in the latest issue of Front Line Genomics Magazine

Underpinning their work have been three guiding pillars:

  1. Clinical and Laboratory Practice: Establish the paradigm of genomic medicine by issuing statements and evidence-based or expert clinical and laboratory practice guidelines and through descriptions of best practices for the delivery of genomic medicine.
  2. Education: Provide education and tools for medical geneticists, other health professionals and the public and grow the genetics workforce.
  3. Advocacy: Work with policymakers and payers to support the responsible application of genomics in medical practice.

The ACMG annual meeting has become the focal point for the field of medical genetics. It’s where people come to stay informed, discuss their work, and push the field forward. It should come as no surprise, that it has found itself on the prestigious Trade Shows Executive’s Fastest 50 list for fastest growth nearly every year since 2011.

The meetings growth and importance in the field, is largely due to its fantastic programme, and the ACMG’s staff working relentlessly to build a comfortable and engaging experience for all attendees.

This year the meeting takes place in Phoenix, Arizona, across the 21st to the 25th of March. We were very fortunate to speak with Katrina Dipple, this year’s Program Chair, and Jane Dahlroth, ACMG Director of Meetings and Exhibits, to find out what goes into making the meeting so special.

In her day job, Katrina is a physician with the genetic care team at Seattle Children’s. While her introduction to the ACMG annual meeting was a little late in coming, it was an instant match. “I didn’t go to ACMG until the year I finished my training and was studying for my board. I decided I should go, because it would help me study for the exam. I went, and I thought ‘oh my goodness how have I not been going to this meeting all these years?’ And I’ve been going ever since. I decided to do something to help, so I volunteered. This is my third year on program committee. Last year I was Vice Chair, and now I’m Chair.”

“It’s the biggest, and most important meeting for clinical genetics. It’s goal is to keep all of the attendees up to date with what’s new in clinical care, as well as highlights from research in the field, and where the field is heading in general. The meeting really reflects our field. We are all just very excited to be in genetics, and we tend to be a very inclusive and happy group,” explains Dipple. It’s the care for what ACMG attendees want and need that make the meeting work. “We try to make sure that the program caters for all parts of our profession, from laboratory people, paediatricians, prenatal, adult care, genetic counsellors, everything. The meeting really reflects what the participants want.”

Check out the full ACMG preview in the latest issue of Front Line Genomics Magazine


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