Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 10:25 EDT

National Genetics Organization Changes Name to Better Reflect Expansion of Field: New Name will be American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Starting in 2012

October 24, 2011

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American College of Medical Genetics Board of Directors has voted to add the word “Genomics” to its name, thereby changing the name to “American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics” officially to be in effect at the 2012 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics meeting in March 2012.

The ACMG acronym will remain the same. The ACMG was founded in 1991 in recognition of the importance of the genetic approach to diagnosis, management, and prevention of disease, maintaining health, and improving the quality of life for all people. Since the sequencing of the human genome, we have entered an era that is changing the very fabric of biological research and medical practice. Medical geneticists have long embraced a genomic approach in healthcare, initially in the analysis of chromosomes and more recently in the application of cytogenomic microarrays and whole genome sequencing. The addition of Genomics to the name recognizes the increasingly central role of medical genomics and its importance alongside genetics in fulfilling the mission of the ACMG.

“Although medical geneticists have used genomic tools for a long time, the vastly increased power of the genomic approach has made it more and more vital to the practice of medical genetics. Adding the term ‘Genomics’ to the ACMG name at this time recognizes the importance of genomics today, and especially for the future, in both the clinical and laboratory practice of the medical geneticist,” said Wayne W. Grody, MD, Ph.D., FACMG, president of The American College of Medical Genetics.

“Medical genetics has always been about ‘translating genes into health,’ but now we can access information about the entire genome to help us in the care of our patients,” added Bruce R, Korf, MD, Ph.D., FACMG, immediate past president of the ACMG. “Although the impact of genomics in medicine will take a long time to be fully realized, this is a once in a lifetime sea change in medical practice. There has never been a more exciting time in the history of our discipline, and we need to communicate this to our patients and to future trainees.”

“The translation of genomic discoveries into widespread medical practice will be a long journey given the complexity of the genome and of the factors that influence health and disease,” added ACMG Executive Director Michael S. Watson, Ph.D., FACMG. “What is important is that the journey has begun; with important steps already taken and many more still to come.”

About the American College of Medical Genetics and ACMG Foundation
Founded in 1991, the American College of Medical Genetics (www.acmg.net) advances the practice of medical genetics by providing education, resources and a voice for more than 1400 biochemical, clinical, cytogenetic, medical and molecular geneticists, genetic counselors and other healthcare professionals committed to the practice of medical genetics and genomics. ACMG’s activities include the development of laboratory and practice standards and guidelines, advocating for quality genetic services in healthcare and in public health, and promoting the development of methods to diagnose, treat and prevent genetic disease. Genetics in Medicine, published monthly, is the official ACMG peer-reviewed journal. ACMG’s website (www.acmg.net) offers a variety of resources including Policy Statements, Practice Guidelines, Educational Resources, and a Find a Geneticist tool. The educational and public health programs of the American College of Medical Genetics are dependent upon charitable gifts from corporations, foundations, and individuals. The ACMG Foundation (www.acmgfoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a community of supporters and contributors who understand the importance of medical genetics and genomics and genetic counseling in healthcare. Established in 1992, the ACMG Foundation supports the American College of Medical Genetics’ mission to “translate genes into health” by raising funds to promote the profession of medical genetics and genomics to medical students, to support the development of practice guidelines for practicing physicians, to advance the awareness and understanding of medical genetics and genomics in the general public, and much more.

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Michael S. Watson, Ph.D., FACMG

SOURCE American College of Medical Genetics

Source: PR Newswire