ASHG Names Derek Scholes as Director of Science Policy

Media Contact:
Nalini Padmanabhan
ASHG Communications Manager

For Immediate Release
Monday, February 1, 2016
12:00 pm U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-05:00)

Derek T. Scholes, PhD, ASHG Director of Science Policy (Photo courtesy Dr. Scholes)

BETHESDA, MD – The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is pleased to announce that Derek T. Scholes, PhD, will join the organization today as its Director of Science Policy. In this capacity, Dr. Scholes will represent ASHG and the human genetics community in policy-related discussions with the executive and legislative branches of government, assist in the development of policy and position statements on important human genetics issues, and ensure ASHG’s visibility in the science policy arena. He will also serve as staff advisor to the ASHG Social Issues Committee.

Dr. Scholes has many years’ experience in science policy, having worked in both government and health advocacy. He has previously served as Chief of the Policy and Program Analysis Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where he was the institute’s liaison to Congress and advised the NHGRI director on genetics policy issues. Prior to that, as Government Relations Manager for the American Heart Association (AHA), he led the Association’s advocacy efforts in genetics and genomics policy, FDA regulation of tobacco products, and measures to address childhood obesity. In addition, he was an ASHG-NHGRI Genetics and Public Policy Fellow from 2005-2006, during which time he helped to advance the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

“ASHG’s mission is to advance human genetics in science, health, and society through excellence in research, education, and advocacy, and Dr. Scholes’ addition to the staff will greatly improve our ability to fulfill the ‘advocacy’ portion of that mission,” said Joseph McInerney, MA, MS, Executive Vice President of ASHG. “He knows genetics, policy, and ASHG very well, and we look forward to his joining us in this new position.”

Dr. Scholes holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Liverpool. He has received several awards during his career, including the American Heart Association’s Time, Feeling and Focus Award in 2010 and the NHGRI Genome Recognition of Employee Accomplishments and Talents Award in 2015.

About the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Human Genetics is the primary professional membership organization for human genetics specialists worldwide. Its nearly 8,000 members include researchers, academicians, clinicians, laboratory practice professionals, genetic counselors, nurses, and others with an interest in human genetics. The Society serves 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; (2) advance genetic research by advocating for research support; (3) educate current and future genetics professionals, health care providers, advocates, policymakers, educators, students, and the public about all aspects of human genetics; and (4) promote genetic services and support responsible social and scientific policies. For more information, visit:

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