ASHG Awards $10,000 Genetics Education Research Grant to Dr. Maurice Godfrey of University of Nebraska


Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Media Contact: ASHG Press Office

ASHG GERP Grant Award Will Provide Funding to Produce Digital Version of an Educational Game on Genetics Ethics

BETHESDA, MD – August 16, 2011 – Maurice Godfrey, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) for his proposal titled, “Luck of the Draw – An Ethics Values Game,” which will be funded through the Society’s 2011 Genetics Education Research Program. The primary goal of ASHG’s Genetics Education Research Program (GERP) is to promote research that will improve genetics teaching and learning from grades 7-20.

Dr. Godfrey will use the $10,000 grant from ASHG to adapt into electronic form a very successful, print-based educational game that teaches about genetics, medicine, and ethics. The print-based version of the program has been used from middle school through medical school, but because the current format is labor intensive to implement, it has not been widely disseminated. The electronic version will be highly adaptable for different audiences and will be easily disseminated to a broad audience. The project will be evaluated for usability, satisfaction, quality of discussions, and student knowledge gain, including critical thinking about genetics and ethics.

“ASHG is very pleased to name Dr. Godfrey as the 2011 recipient of ASHG’s Genetics Education Research Program grant,” said Dr. Michael Dougherty, Director of Education for ASHG. “Creating a digital version of their current genetics game will allow educators to excite far more students with the power and elegance of genetics, particularly since the game highlights important connections between genetics, medicine, and ethics – and it is that intersection of science and society that drives student learning.”

For more than 20 years, Dr. Godfrey has served as a faculty member of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he has mentored students from middle school through post-docs. Over the past ten years, Godfrey has helped develop programs to increase appreciation for science in high schools across the state of Nebraska. Most recently, he was part of a team that wrote the first Health Science Standards for the Nebraska Department of Education.

Dr. Godfrey received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Monmouth College in 1977, and went on to earn his Masters in Science (1980) and Doctorate (1986) in Pathobiology/Immunology from Columbia University.


Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. The nearly 8,000 members of ASHG include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses and others with a special interest in human genetics. The Society’s mission is to serve research scientists, health professionals and the public by providing forums to: (1) share research results through the ASHG Annual Meeting and in The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG); (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, teachers, students and the general public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information about ASHG, please visit

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