Meet Your New Leaders (Board Roundup)

ASHG extends sincere congratulations to its new 2021 board members and officers who began their terms on January 1. 

The membership elected Charles RotimiPhD, National Institutes of Health as president-elect. The other new members of the Board of Directors are Claudia Gonzaga-Jauregui, PhD, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Heather Mefford, MD, PhD, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML, University of Pennsylvania; and Ebony Shah-Williams, MS, Indiana University. 

Learn more about the newest Board members below! 

President-Elect: Charles Rotimi, PhD, is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Metabolic, Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch, NHGRI. He received his PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research interests lie in investigating the complex interplay between genomics, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic traits including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia, within the context of health disparities, in mostly African ancestry populations. In addition, he also works to engage African communities for the International HapMap to active participation in 1,000 Genomes, the African Genome Variation Project, the NHLBI TOPMed program, the International Common Disease Alliance and is working to spearhead the launch of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiatives. Rotimi has served on the editorial boards of Genome MedicineClinical Genetics; Public Health GenomicsGenome Medicine npj; and Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics. Previously, he has served as a member of ASHG’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force, Program Committee, Nominating Committee, and Board of Directors 

Early Career Director: Claudia Gonzaga-Jauregui, PhD, is Senior Manager for Mendelian Genetics at the Regeneron Genetics Center. She received her PhD from the Baylor College of Medicine and did her postdoctoral work at the Baylor College of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center. Her research interests lie in Mendelian genetics, rare diseases, molecular genetics, genomics, human genomic variation, genomic sequencing, structural variation, genomic disorders, functional genomics, founder population genetics, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, neurogenetics, molecular diagnostics, therapeutic approaches for rare diseases, and precision medicine.  Gonzaga-Jauregui has served as a ClinGen Intellectual Disability and Autism Gene Curation Expert Panel member. Previously, Claudia served on ASHG’s Public Education and Awareness Committee and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force. 

Director: Heather Mefford, MD, PhD is a faculty member at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. She received her PhD and MD from the University of Washington and did her pediatric residency at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Mefford’s research interests lie in genetic etiology of pediatric epilepsy and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Additionally, she is interested in copy number variants in human disease; the contribution of somatic and gonadal mosaicism to human disease; genome structure and susceptibility to deleterious rearrangements; and applications of genomic technology to clinical diagnostics and precision medicine. Throughout her career, Mefford has served in a number of leadership and administrative positions to promote the growth and well-being of the organizations to which she belonged, including co-chair, ClinGen Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinical Domain Working Group and co-chair, Investigators Workshop Committee, at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting. Previously, Heather served on ASHG’s Finance & Audit Committee and chaired the ASHG Program Committee in 2018. 

Director: Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML, is a professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from The Rockefeller University and his MD from Weill-Cornell Medical CollegeMusunuru did his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his ML from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His research focuses on therapeutic genome editing, cardiovascular genetics, coronary heart disease, metabolic traits and diseases, cardiomyopathies, functional genomics, functional annotation of variants, and precision medicineMusunuru has worked to promote the aims of ASHG through service as Program Committee Chair; as a current member of the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force; and Online Programs & Professional Education Working Group. 

Trainee Director: Ebony Shah-WilliamsMS, is a graduate student in medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana School of MedicineShe received her MS from Chicago State University. Her anticipated graduation for her doctorate is July 2021. Her research interests include health disparities research, population genetics, pharmacogenetics, Taxane Induced Peripheral neuropathy, breast cancer, serious adverse drug events, clinical pharmacology, and clinical trials. Shah-Williams has worked to communicate the value of human genetics in a number of ways as an ASHG member including a poster presentation on enrollment of diverse population in the INGENIOUS pharmacogenetic clinical trial, participating in the ASHG Human Genetics Scholar Initiative Community and providing support to ASHG’s policy and advocacy team through letters to Members of Congress. 

Returning Board Members 

Gail P. Jarvik, MD, PhD, President 

Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD, Past President 

Donna M. Martin, MD, PhD, Secretary 

Bruce D. Gelb, MD, Treasurer 

Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD, Treasurer-elect 

Robin L. Bennett, MS, CGC 

Dana C. Crawford, PhD 

Soma Das, PhD 

Eimear E. Kenny, PhD 

John V. Moran, PhD 

Charmaine D. M. Royal, PhD

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