G2MC Newsletter

December 2023

In this edition

  • Message of Gratitude and Vision for the New Year
  • Featured Early Career Investigator: Dr. Thushara Priyawansha, Sri Lanka
  • G2MC 7th International Conference Recap
  • Organizational Updates and Announcements
  • Working Group Updates
  • Flagship Project Updates
  • Other Genomic Medicine News and Events

Know of potential funding sources or opportunities? 

Message of Gratitude and Vision for the New Year

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our members, leaders, partners, and funders who continue to contribute to the growth of G2MC. During 2023 we have grown our membership, realigned our functional groups for greater impact, seen notable progress and achievements from our Flagship Projects and Working Groups, convened world leaders and others in the field of genomic medicine in Geneva Switzerland for our 7th International Conference, and have continued to impact individuals and communities across the globe, particularly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) where genomic medicine can significantly impact the lives of those we reach.

Please take a moment to view the GGMC 2023 Annual Report which provides a full overview of GGMC and its consortia’s goals,  activities, and achievements during 2023, and our vision for 2024.

We look forward to continued growth and your active participation in our community. Please reach out to us at any time with questions or feedback.

Featured Young Investigator

G2MC is committed to fostering the growth of Early Career Investigators (ECIs) in the field of genomic medicine. Through the implementation of ECI Forums at our international conferences and our G2MC ECI Subcommittee, we hope to provide opportunities for our members to mentor and cultivate young talent in genomic medicine implementation all over the world.

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Dr. Thushara Priyawansha, Sri Lanka

We’re excited to continue our G2MC Early Career Investigator (ECI) Series with our final interview of 2023. We’re speaking with Dr. Thushara Priyawansha from Sri Lanka, whom we caught up with in the UK where he’s attending the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, completing overseas training to work as a Consultant Pediatric Clinical Geneticist in Sri Lanka. Continue reading to learn more about Dr. Priyawansha and his career pursuits. 

G2MC 7th International Conference Recap

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Conference Overview

We are pleased to have successfully concluded the G2MC 7th International Conference that took place in October 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). As part of the conference, a total of 32 Early Career Investigators (ECIs), representing 16 countries, of which 11 were LMICs, showcased their impressive work through podium presentations, flash talks, and posters. Through the hard work of the planning teams and G2MC leadership, as well as the generosity of our sponsors and partners, genomic medicine professionals and leaders from across the globe convened to share current research, challenges, opportunities, and solutions.  Continue reading for a full overview of the conference.

Conference Materials

We’ve posted conference materials to the event webpage, including session recordings, the full conference program, the ECI abstract booklet, conference stats, and more. 

Organizational Updates and Announcements

Newest Leadership Members

Gabriela Repetto, MD, (Chile) Appointed G2MC Co-Chair

Gabriela Repetto, MD, (Chile) has been appointed G2MC co-chair starting in January 2024, succeeding Bruce Korf, MD, PhD, (USA) who served as interim co-chair for one year in 2023. Dr. Repetto has played an integral part in the growth and success of G2MC and its parent organization GGMC, including serving in various leadership roles. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Repetto to this new role and extending our sincerest thanks to Dr. Korf for his dedicated leadership over the past year. 

Bernard Esquivel, MD, PhD, (Canada) Appointed G2MC Interim Co-Chair

In September, Bernard Esquivel, MD, PhD, (Canada) was appointed G2MC interim co-chair covering for Catalina Lopez-Correa, MD, PhD, during her medical leave until her return in May/June 2024. Dr. Esquivel has actively contributed to the growth of G2MC as a member for the last five years, serving on the Steering Committee since July 2022 and as co-lead of the Membership Working Group for the last six months. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Esquivel to this role. 

Michelle Bishop, PhD, (United Kingdom) Elected G2MC Resource Center Co-Lead

In October, Michelle Bishop, PhD, from Wellcome Connecting Science, UK, was elected G2MC Resource Center co-lead. Dr. Bishop is recognized internationally as an authority on genomics education with 12+ years of experience in influencing, shaping, and interpreting national policy for the education and training of NHS healthcare professionals. She joins Grant Wood (USA) to build this working group from the ground up with the engagement of its new members, including those candidates nominated for the co-lead position. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Bishop to this role.  

NHS-UK

GGMC Makes a Splash at NHS Summit

On 27-28 November 2023, National Health Service (NHS) England convened 99 delegates from 49 countries across 6 continents on the Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK at the International Genomics Education and Training Summit for the following purpose:

To gain a collective understanding of the drivers for, and barriers to, the adoption of genomic medicine, in particular to workforce education. Through the four sessions below and three related workshops, invited speakers presented their initiatives and interventions in relation to genomics education to inform the development of a global community of practice that partners to foster new ideas, collaborations and connections, and share resources.

  1. Sharing genomic education and training practice and challenges from around the world
  2. The Patient and family perspective
  3.  Pedagogic research and developing approaches to measure success
  4.  Next steps and establishing global partnerships

 Attendees from the GGMC and programmatic senior leadership were (alphabetical order): 

Michelle Bishop, Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, Rich Haspel, Sue Hill, Bruce Korf, Teri Manolio, Rupesh Mishra, George Patrinos, Teji Rakhra-Burris, Gad Rennert, Gabriela Repetto, Nirmala Sirisena, MK Thong.

With the preliminary success of this first Summit, there are plans to continue the development of this network with engagement of multiple partners, including GGMC and its consortia, in the field of Genomics Education and Training.

REMINDER: Funding and Grants Webpage

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The GGMC Development Committee is requesting for G2MC members to share potential funding opportunities and sources applicable to the implementation of genomic medicine. These will be posted on our website and shared in our newsletters and social media channels, with the goal of allowing other members the opportunity to consider collaborative proposals to answer them. We have recently created a Funding and Grants webpage on our website to list these opportunities and funding sources. We encourage members to use the submission form on the webpage to submit potential funding opportunities and sources to be posted and shared.

Working Group Updates

The following working groups were established in 2023 to help propel G2MC towards its vision of Genomic Medicine for everyone. We are extremely thankful to those who have stepped up to lead these groups and are inspired by the enthusiasm shown by members who will help build these groups from the ground up.

If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please fill out the Join Us/Get Involved Form below to be added to the email listserv and monthly calls.

Resource Center Working Group

Join the G2MC Resource Center Working Group Inaugural Meeting in January 2024

We are pleased to announce the initiation of a new working group within the Global Genomic Medicine Consortium (G2MC) — the Resource Center Working Group. This group will be led by Grant Wood (USA), Michelle Bishop, PhD, (United Kingdom), and Early Career Investigator (ECI) Sotiris Ouzounis (Greece).

The first meeting with be held virtually on January 11, 2024, where the group will begin to lay the groundwork for these objectives, engaging in discussions on strategies, timelines, and methodologies to drive efforts forward. The meetings will convene monthly every second Thursday 15:00-16:00 UTC to facilitate the group’s collaborative efforts.

All members of G2MC are invited to join the meetings to share expertise, insights, and ideas to shape the success of this initiative. 

Membership Working Group

Co-Leads To Be Announced and Objectives Finalized - Stay Tuned for Updates!

We just closed the application for the role of co-lead of the Membership Working Group. The applications are currently in the process of being compiled and reviewed by the current leadership. We will announce the new co-leads around the end of January. The newly elected co-leads, with the help of one or more Early Career Investigators and the support of the G2MC Secretariat, will finalize the objectives, prioritize activities, and engage members to carry out implementation of the objectives of this group. The mission of the Membership Working Group is to develop and maintain membership structure, including defining who can be a member, how to become a member, what is required to maintain membership, and what benefits are included in membership. Stay tuned for more from this group during Q1 2024!

Implementation Working Group

Progress and Next Steps in the New Year

The Implementation Working Group is developing an approach and setting standards for what a G2MC flagship project is through the development of common templates, guidelines, an application and review process for relevance to G2MC, and a monitoring plan to ensure outcomes and distribution of results to the genomic medicine community, as well as policymakers at the local, national, regional and global level.

The co-leads are finishing the creation of a questionnaire to identify projects, match necessary expertise, and emulate collaborations. It will be shared with members of the group for evaluation in January. If you are interested in being involved in the next steps let us know by completing the Join Us form if you haven’t already done so.

Flagship Project Updates

G2MC currently has two flagship projects that report to the Implementation Projects Working Group.

If you are interested in being a part of either of these projects, please fill out the Join Us/Get Involved Form below to be added to the email listserv and monthly calls.

G2MC Family Health History (FHH) Flagship Project

FHH Flagship Project Group Shares Ambitious Plan and Goals for 2024

During the G2MC 7th International Conference, held in October 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Family Health History (FHH) Flagship Project group announced a significant and aggressive program for 2024. The goal is to follow a ‘universal’ or ‘generalizable’ FHH project plan that includes a series of collaborative steps, from early planning to sharing successes, in support of local, working FHH implementations. Clinical champions from nine countries have already committed to participate in one or many of the plan’s steps. Continue reading to learn more.

Genomic Medicine Clinics for Rare Genetic Disorders

Discussions Continue for Project Expansion and Collaboration

The Genomic Medicine Clinics for Rare Genetic Disorders pilot project completed its initial goal of implementing exome sequencing for the diagnosis of rare uncharacterized and undiagnosed diseases in six clinical sites located in Chile, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa, and Nepal. Results from the project were presented during the International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World (ICBD), held in March 2023 in Santiago, Chile. Results are also being submitted for publication in various journals, including a special issue of Frontiers in Genetics.

The project now has the potential for expansion, with 20 sites, in addition to the initial six sites, interested in providing exome sequencing to local individuals with rare/undiagnosed diseases. Of the additional 20 sites, 16 have confirmed their participation in the project. Additionally, opportunities for collaboration with other global organizations have emerged.

G2MC members are invited to join the upcoming Rare Genetic Disorders monthly call on January 15, 2024, at 14h UTC to hear from the co-leads on the next steps of the project.

Other News

Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, Recipient of the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) Luminary Award

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We are thrilled to share that G2MC founder and former president, Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) Luminary Award. Dr. Ginsburg currently serves as Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the NIH All of Us Research Program, and his continued dedication to GGMC and its consortia has been an integral part of our organization’s growth and success. Dr. Ginsburg will be honored during the conference on January 24, 2024.  Please join us in congratulating Geoff on this well-deserved honor!

GA4GH and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) Launch Community Focused On Neuroscience Data Interoperability

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Any interested G2MC community members are invited to join the new GA4GH & INCF Neuroscience Community, which will lay the groundwork for connecting neuroscience and genomic data around the world. The group will develop the standards, collaborations, and systems needed to power neuroscience data visiting across a global network.

Remembering Robert B. Eiss (1954-2023)

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The GGMC community is deeply saddened by news of the passing of Robert B. Eiss, a dedicated member of the International Health Cohorts Consortium (IHCC), serving on the Executive Committee. Robert served as Senior Global Health Advisor to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Fogarty International Center. Robert was a champion of scientific research and global health equity and a passionate advocate for global health research partnerships. He will leave a lasting impact in all areas that his service has touched. Please take a moment to read the touching tribute by a former colleague of Robert’s at NIH.

Upcoming Events

Human Genome Meeting 2024

The Human Genome Meeting (HGM) will be held from 8-10 April 2024 in Rome. Registration and abstract submissions are currently open. Nearly half of all session presentations will be from reviewed and scored abstracts. The theme of the HGM2024 “Genomics in Precision Health” reflects the focus on genomics education which will be heavily involved in the scientific contents of the conference. HGM2024 will be a platform to highlight recent progresses in these fascinating new science and technologies. In addition, HGM2024 will bring in educational workshops and sessions for students and early-career scientists, combined with opportunities to present their works. G2MC Steering Committee member Prof. Juergen Reichardt is co-chair of the local organizing committee and part of the scientific program committee for this meeting and is looking forward to welcoming many human genomics colleagues to this exciting event! 

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IHCC-PRECISE Conference: Cohorts to Clinic (C2C)

Save the dates! The International Health Cohorts Consortium (IHCC) is excited to hold its 6th international conference as a joint meeting with Precision Health Research, Singapore (PRECISE). The Cohorts to Clinic (C2C) conference will be held from 20-22 August 2024 in Singapore. Additional information as well as the event webpage will be available soon on the IHCC website.

GGMC Educational Webinar Series

Join us each month for the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (GGMC) Educational Webinar Series. The series, established and previously hosted by the International Health Cohorts Consortium (IHCC), has been expanded to include both consortiums within the GGMC organization and brings together leaders, educators, researchers, and professionals with all levels of expertise to share health sciences initiatives taking place in their respective fields and countries. Each month’s webinar will feature new guest speakers offering novel insights into their fields.

G2MC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) (tax-exempt in the U.S.) organization. Sponsorships and donations to help support our mission are greatly appreciated.

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.