By Teri Manolio, MD, PhD
The breadth and significance of the research that will be presented at ASHG 2020’s Virtual Meeting is unparalleled. There is simply nowhere else in the world where geneticists can discover the latest, the most innovative, and quite possibly the most unexpected new research findings in genetics and genomics. As ASHG’s Program Committee Chair, it has been my privilege to help guide the programming for what is going to be an inspiring and thought-provoking meeting, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
I am enthusiastic about the high-quality program we are bringing to ASHG members and the caliber of speakers we have selected. I encourage you to take a look, if you have not already, at the program that we have prepared. We continue to feature advances from across the field, and we are also designing a special, highly topical new session that will focus on late-breaking research on the COVID-19 pandemic about how the genetics and genomics community is addressing this defining public health emergency of our times. ASHG will launch its call for COVID-19-focused specific late-breaking abstracts at the end of this month. Please help us continue the timely and cutting-edge tradition of research by the genetics community by submitting your COVID-19 abstract.
This year, many of the sessions also focus on data usage and data resource topics related to human genetics and genomics as well on using new omics technologies, like RNA-seq, proteomics and epigenomics, in addition to genome sequencing. These advances will continue to propel our community forward. Additionally, the Virtual Meeting will feature genetics and genomics research working with diverse populations as participants, as well as perspectives from researchers working in their own communities. Attendees will also be able to learn how to bring the benefits of this research to all and be a part of the conversation this October.
Connections from Anywhere in the World
ASHG’s Board determined that the entire program for the 2020 Virtual Meeting, including workshops and networking programs, will be available for one low fee for members. Any member who registers prior to September 15, will receive a discount for early registration as well. Trainee, developing country, and regular members will receive discounted pricing. For a list of registration fees please click here. We have worked hard to ensure that this is the premier global event for genetic researchers with four days of scientific programming; networking hubs that will facilitate making new connections from around the globe; and knowledge gained about new approaches, tools, and technologies in the field.
Moreover, all programming will be available on-demand for up to twelve months, which will give each attendee the opportunity to view programming live or when it is most convenient, and to follow up with speakers with questions. Given that content will be available virtually, people from all over the world who may not have been able to travel to San Diego will now be able to attend the meeting without the costs, time, potential visa issues, and jet lag associated with travel or hotels. Everyone will now be able to participate without those concerns this year in a safe environment working from the comfort of their homes.
ASHG: Serving Members with High Quality Programming
Following up on the strategic planning process last year, ASHG had already started to share impactful events online through the development of digital programs including webinars and podcasts. ASHG’s Virtual Meeting is yet another important way we strive to connect with our members and the field, as we will utilize our existing expertise in online events to deliver the best scientific programming. The ability to share a broad variety of information in real time with participants has been a hallmark of our work over the past six months and will continue well into 2021 and beyond.
All of the work we are embracing now is goal oriented and focused on the needs of ASHG members. We are adapting to changes in the field, the global pandemic, and the need for physical distancing to remain connected through excellent science, sharing resources and information, and meaningful relationships. I look forward to seeing all of you online at ASHG’s Virtual Meeting this October.