ASHG Lifetime Achievement Award

In January 2023, as part of its response to the Facing Our History – Building an Equitable Future initiative findings, ASHG suspended the use of individual names for all of its professional awards, pending review of any affiliation with eugenics or other harms. Until decisions are made about a naming policy and practice, ASHG’s professional awards have only descriptive titles. While that review occurs, this award will be referred to as the Lifetime Achievement Award. Formerly, it was the William Allan Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the top prize given by the American Society of Human Genetics. The award is presented annually to recognize substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics, carried out over a sustained period of scientific inquiry and productivity. The recipient is presented with an engraved medal and a monetary award of $25,000 at the Society’s Annual Meeting. It is customary to publish a manuscript of their acceptance presentation in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

All nominees must be current ASHG members. This award is given on a yearly basis, but can be omitted in any given year at the discretion of the Board.

Past Awardees 

Required Nomination Materials

  • a formal letter of nomination addressing why the candidate is qualified for this award (500 words maximum)
  • the nominee’s CV
  • at least one (up to three) reference letter from those who are familiar with the nominee’s contributions to human genetics (each 500 words maximum). One reference must be an ASHG member.

Judging Criteria

  1. Ground-breaking/foundational discoveries that changed the path of genetics
  2. Novel ideas/approaches that had a continuous and far-reaching impact on the field
  3. Sustained scientific productivity over decades
  4. Representation of diversity reflecting ASHG membership
  5. Cultivation and mentorship of the next generation of scientists

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