G2MC Post-Conference Update

November 2023

In this update…

  • Conference Overview and Looking Ahead
  • Note of Appreciation
  • Conference Stats
  • Early Career Investigator (ECI) Winners
  • Call to Host the G2MC 8th International Conference in March 2025 – Apply Now!
  • G2MC Functional Groups: Next Actionable Steps

Conference Overview and Looking Ahead

G2MC 7th International Conference

Genomic Medicine for everyone. Accelerating implementation of Genomic Medicine for global equity & access.

We are pleased to have successfully concluded the G2MC 7th International Conference that took place October 2-4, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland, and online for those who were unable to attend in person. We had a total of 225 registrants (86 in person and 139 online) representing 49 countries, of which 33 were low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

“The diversity represented at the conference, in terms of demographics, areas of expertise, and career stages, was outstanding,” said G2MC Chair George Patrinos, PhD, who has been involved with G2MC since the first G2MC international conference in 2014. “Each conference continues to grow in diversity and attendance, especially with participants from low and middle-income countries, and we are pleased to continue to cultivate our Early Career Investigator involvement as well.” 

Growing the Future of Genomic Medicine

As part of the conference, a total of 22 Early Career Investigators (ECIs) showcased their impressive work through podium presentations, flash talks, and posters. ECIs represented 16 countries, of which 11 were LMICs. The conference also included a career panel discussion and allowed for many opportunities for networking as well, and we want to applaud the fantastic interactions between our mentors and our ECIs in moving their projects forward and sharing their expertise and tips. 

“Conferences are a great place for ECIs to network and connect with experts in the field,” said Pratiksha Gyawali, MBBS, MD, Assistant Professor at Kathmandu University, Nepal. Dr. Gyawali was part of the conference planning committee, representing ECIs, and also presented during the conference on her work expanding genomic medical services in Nepal. “In my country, the infrastructure and expertise around genomic medicine is very limited. There is a gap between what is in the text book and what is being implemented, and it’s important that we teach our next generation of leaders in the field so that countries like Nepal don’t fall behind. Bringing together ECIs from all over the world gives them an opportunity to learn what is being done in other countries.” 

We are excited to continue building on this momentum to further foster the growth of the future leadership of genomic medicine implementation. This includes involving ECI representatives on all of our G2MC functional groups, and establishing educational and mentorship opportunities as part of our core functions. 

Sharing Challenges, Identifying Opportunities and Solutions

As we built the conference around the WHO Science Council’s 2022 report on accelerating access to genomics for global health, we had extraordinary talks that demonstrated the power of global collaboration involving LMICs and the implementation of genomic medicine in different settings. We had an expert lineup of 23 speakers representing 13 countries, of which eight were LMICs. 

Day one keynote speaker, Jeremy Farrar, PhD, Chief Scientist of WHO, Switzerland, spoke of the importance of thinking horizontally when it comes to genomic medicine, investing and planning for long-term research, 10-15 years in the future, what this landscape will look like and what we need to do to get there. 

“Science requires investment over the long-term, as demonstrated by the COVID pandemic where research in RNA discovery began 30 to 40 years ago, which allowed for the rapid introduction of the vaccine during the COVID outbreak,” Dr. Farrar stated. “The same thing is especially true for the genetics and genomics community. We must think parallel – not in sequence. We can’t just focus on the science and technology, but also our engagement of people and institutions, regulations, ethics, and public involvement. Think about the progress G2MC has made during its 11 years in existence, and think ahead another 10 years to 2030 or 2040. How can we accelerate this progress, anticipating the changes and needs rather than reacting?”

Day three keynote speaker Professor Collet Dandara, PhD, with the University of Cape Town, South Africa, as well as the other speakers from our last session on Equity and Global Access (DEI), highlighted some of the challenges, opportunities, and initiatives of integrating genomic medicine implementation in LMICs. The session provided significant lessons learned and shined a light on opportunities for moving forward.

“Education and training is a critical component of genomic medicine implementation, and it’s critical that we not only diversify our learners, but we diversify our research in genetics and genomics, said conference speaker Vicky Nembaware, PhD, with the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and the African Society of Human Genetics. “More implementation research is needed in African genomics, for example, because there are many rare variants that occur within African populations. If we can increase training and understanding of African genomics, we are not only helping African populations, but also the global population.”

Demonstrating the Power of Working Together

“Each session and portion of the conference was well thought out and strategically planned by our scientific planning committee around advancing genomic medicine and making it available to everyone,” said G2MC Interim Co-Chair Bruce Korf, MD, PhD. 

“As noted by the American Society of Human Genetics in its 2023 annual meeting, we are one humanity,” Dr. Korf said during the closing remarks. “One humanity with many genomes, many healthcare systems, many health priorities, many educational projects, and many implementation efforts. G2MC is in an excellent position to bring these efforts and initiatives together so that globally we are collaborating as one team. Moving forward, we must continue to train and expand our workforce, mentor our future leaders, define best practices, advance our approaches, and raise awareness about the importance of genomic medicine implementation in every part of the world.” 

We would like to sincerely thank all those who made the G2MC 7th International Conference a success. You can view the full conference e-booklet here. We will also post materials on the event page, including presentations and recordings as they’re processed.

Note of Appreciation

This conference would not have been possible without the hard work of the conference planning committee, conference co-chair and local host Marc Abramowicz, and conference co-chair Vajira Dissanayake, as well as the local event planner Symporg, and the G2MC Secretariat team led by our CEO, Teji Rakhra-Burris. We would also like to thank G2MC Chair George Patrinos, and Interim Co-Chair Bruce Korf, for their leadership and involvement. Finally, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our remarkable conference speakers, our attendees who participated from around the world, and our sponsors and partners who made this event possible.

“This conference was not just an opportunity to network and collaborate, but it was also a meeting of friends. We’ve built an amazing global community and have achieved so much through our virtual collaborations, but coming together in person with everyone who shares the same passions and goals, and especially with our Early Career Investigators, has been phenomenal. The future of genomic medicine is looking very promising.”

Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., FNASSL
G2MC Conference Co-Chair

Scientific Planning Committee

Marc Abramowicz (Switzerland)
Vajira Dissanayake (Sri Lanka)
Geoff Ginsburg (USA)
Rich Haspel (USA)
Theodora Katsila (Greece)
Bruce Korf (USA)
Rongling Li (USA)
Catalina Lopez (Canada)
George Patrinos (Greece)
Teji Rakhra-Burris (USA)
Juergen Reichardt (Australia)
Gabriela Repetto (Chile)
Nirmala Sirisena (Sri Lanka)
MK Thong (Malaysia)
Grant Wood (USA)

Early Career Investigators (ECI) Representatives:
Peter James Abad (Philippines)
Aradhana Dwivedi (India)
Pratiksha Gyawali (Nepal)
Annette Uwineza (Rwanda)

Logistic Planning Team

University Hospital of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland
Eva Hammar Bouveret
Marc Abramowicz
Sophie Longchamp
Rime Abla-Brandt

Symporg (event planner), Switzerland 
Vanessa Mezzanotte
Bertrand Joehr

With the support of the G2MC Secretariat

Sponsors & Partners

RGC-logo-R.jpg
Macrgoen-CI_470x180-1.png
Fabric_Email_Sig_Logo-200.png
CacheDNA-1.png
Logo_Etat-de-Geneve.jpg
Elsevier_Logo-e1631645154526-1.png
campus-biotech-1-1.jpg
GenomeCanada_col-tightcrop-2-1-1.jpg
nhgri2.png
fgt_conventionbureau_01-1_logotype_noir_rvb-1.jpg
CIHR-Inst-of-Genetics.jpg
sidra-1.png

Conference Stats

Attendees

225 Registrants

86 in-person
139 online

49 Countries

33 LMICs

Speakers

23 Speakers

13 Countries

8 LMICs

Early Career Investigators (ECIs):

32 ECI Presenters

10 Podium Presentations
12 Flash Talks
10 Poster-only

16 Countries

11 LMICs

“The depth of discussions and ability to network and meet new people with the same goals and passions is an invaluable part of an in-person conference. At the same time, virtual meetings allow a lot of people to participate from different parts of the world that wouldn’t be able to participate otherwise. It’s critical that we continue to find ways to incorporate both in-person and virtual components into our future meetings.”

Gabriella Repetto, MD
G2MC Steering Committee Member
Conference Planning Committee Member

Feedback

Did you participate in the 7th International Conference? Please share your feedback by completing the post-conference survey. Doing so will help us plan for an even better 8th conference, planned around March 2025.

Early Career Investigator (ECI) Awards

As part of the conference, 22 Early Career Investigators (ECIs) presented either in person or online. The ECIs represented 16 countries, of which 11 were LMICs. Ten ECIs were selected to give 10-minute podium presentations, 12 ECIs for two-minute flash talks, and 10 ECIs for posters-only. Two ECIs from each category were selected for best presentations. We would like to sincerely thank our judges for taking part in this portion of the conference and for their difficult selections of the impressive work presented by our ECIs. All winners received a book of their choice generously provided by Elsevier. 

“It’s about giving something back. And you give back by providing encouragement, advice, and guidance, helping ECIs move forward in their academic advancements and careers and giving them opportunities to grow. And that is a major part of what this conference is about — providing our next generation with guidance and opportunities, setting them up for success.”

George Patrinos, Ph.D.
G2MC Chair

Podium Presentation Winners

Ms Tsaone Tamuhla

South African National Bioinformatics Institute, University Of The Western Cape, South Africa

“Implementation of a genotyped virtual African population cohort: A feasibility study in the Western Cape Province, South Africa”

Dr Hasani Hewavitharana

Ministry of health, Sri Lanka

“Phenotypic and Genotypic Landscape of a Cohort of Sri Lankan Individuals with Inherited Kidney Disease (IKD)”

Flash Talk Winners

Mr Arnab Ghosh

National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, India

“Mapping the evolving dynamics of genomic and immune interactions during initiation and progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma from precancerous lesions”

Ms Grace Larbie Gafa (virtual)

Africa Kidney Disease Research Network/University Of Ghana Medical School, Ghana

“Participants and Stakeholders views on feedback of Genetics Research Findings of the H3Africa Kidney Disease Research Network, Ghana”

Poster Winners

Dr Yasas D. Kolambage

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

“Unravelling the molecular basis of rare skeletal dysplasias using trio exome sequencing: A case series study”

Mrs Michelle Kamp

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

“Clinicians' perceptions towards Precision Medicine tools for Cardiovascular disease risk stratification in South Africa”

“Early Career Investigators are the future of genomic medicine. Not only will they drive the research agenda, but as they rise through the ranks and become accomplished academics, they will be key to influencing policy at the government level. It’s so important that we continue to nuture ECIs from developing countries as well. It is these areas that we need people on the ground driving and advocating for the implementation of genomic medicine into the healthcare systems of these countries.”

Prof. Juergen Reichardt
G2MC Steering Committee Member
Conference Planning Committee Member

View the ECI Abstract E-Booklet to learn more about the research being done by our ECIs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are willing to offer any of the ECIs collaboration, sponsorship, and/or mentorship.

Here's what some of our ECIs had to say about the conference:

Thank you for providing a platform for ECIs to present their work and for encouraging their growth and career progression.”

“The ECI Forum sessions were a very good opportunity for the new researchers to share their new findings globally. It was a good encouragement for them as well. By meeting the talented, well-educated, and powerful people in their field, early career investigators can learn a lot from them.”

“As an ECI, I found the ECI Forum sessions very informative and encouraging. The panel discussions were real and practical.”

“Having the keynote introduction by Jeremy Farrar set the tone for the rest of the conference. All of the talks aligned with this theme of implementing scientific research to improve healthcare. There was an echo of this throughout all the presentations and keynotes.”

“It was a pleasure attending the G2MC 7th International Conference. I hope to attend all future events.”

“It was a great experience to attend the G2MC 7th International Conference in Geneva”

“I am glad that I had the chance to attend and network during this well-prepared event. Thank you!”

“It was lovely to have the opportunity to attend the G2MC conference. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot!”

“Thank you for the wonderful conference – G2MC was truly fantastic to attend!”

“Thank you very much for the invitation, it was my pleasure to present my work and I am excited that it was so well received. I look forward to participating in more G2MC events in the future.”

8th G2MC International Conference

8th-G2MC-International-Conference.jpg

Call to Host the G2MC 8th International Conference in March 2025!

With the conclusion of the 7th conference, it’s time to start planning the next one! We are looking for hosts who are willing to support the organization of the G2MC 8th International Conference in their country around March 2025. All details and the questionnaire can be found on our Host Questionnaire webpage. Please apply with all the requested information by November 30

Contact us at G2MC8thConfPlanning@g2mc.org for any questions!

Call for Sponsors

If you or your organization may be interested in being a conference sponsor, please email us at G2MC8thConfPlanning@g2mc.org and we will be happy to provide additional details about sponsorship opportunities.

“My hope for the future is that we see more and more groups across the world embracing genomic medicine, as well as greater innovation in the field. This will involve scaling the workforce, reducing costs, and getting more and more people involved. My hope is that we’ll start seeing people, who today would have never imagined they would be doing genomic medicine, coming into the fold because they realize the potential it offers.”

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D.
G2MC Interim Co-Chair

G2MC Functional Groups: Next Actionable Steps

Membership Working Group

The Membership Working Group is gathering data from our members to build our membership database (please complete the Join Us/Get Involved Form to have your information in the database) and to define G2MC member requirements and benefits. The co-leads are currently meeting monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at 15h UTC (November through March) and 14h UTC (April through October). The invite to join the monthly meetings will be sent to interested members soon. 

Resource Center Working Group

The Resource Center Working Group’s next steps are to reach out to all G2MC project co-leads and survey the G2MC members to understand their needs and resources. The working group will start with the pilot project integrating Family Health History artifacts. Monthly meetings will start on the first Thursday of the month at 14h UTC (November through March) and 13h UTC (April through October). The invite to join the monthly meetings will be sent to interested members soon. 

Implementation Projects Working Group

The Implementation Projects Working Group is working on the project proposal template form that will be shared with the membership to gather information on what projects our members are doing or would like to do, their challenges, and what kind of support G2MC could provide. 

Family Health History (FHH) Flagship Project

The Family Health History (FHH) Flagship Project group is currently cooperatively creating a ‘universal’/‘generalizable’ FHH project plan. It also includes validating a family history questionnaire for Hemoglobinopathy identification and prevention. This group is meeting monthly on the fourth Thursday of the month at 14h UTC (November through March) and 13h UTC (April through October).

Rare Genetic Disorders Flagship Project

The Rare Genetic Disorders Flagship Project group is moving forward with the preparation of the scale-up part of the Rare Disease Diagnosis using Exome Sequencing project. The group is meeting monthly on the third Monday of the month at 14h UTC (November through March) and 13h UTC (April through October).


G2MC members who signed up for a functional group using the
Join Us/Get Involved Form were sent invites to the above reoccurring meetings. You can still complete this form if you have not yet done so and are interested in being a part of a G2MC Functional Group — helping to move forward the G2MC mission and vision of Genomic Medicine implementation for everyone!

Join Our Community

Interested in becoming a member of G2MC? Our community is comprised of health professionals, scientists, and policy makers in over 35 countries. We collaborate to demonstrate the value and the effective use of genomics in medicine. Join us to share and learn best practices.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Recent Posts