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Michael S. Watson, Ph.D., receives Am College of Medical Genetics-ACMG Foundation Presidents' Award

The ACMG and ACMG Foundation Presidents' Award has been newly established to thank and honor the valuable contributions made by a member of the American College of Medical Genetics. In a surprise announcement, Michael S. Watson, PhD, FACMG was named the first recipient of this new honor during the Presidential Plenary session at the 2011 ACMG Clinical Genetics Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in March.

"Despite the surprise, I am honored to have been the first recipient of this award. As with any award, thanks have to go to those who have allowed success to be realized including the many Boards of Directors and Committees of ACMG with which I have worked, the marvelous staff of the ACMG and ACMGF and the members of ACMG who work daily to deliver genetic services to patients," said Dr. Watson.

Dr. Watson received his B.S from American University in Washington, D.C. and his M.S. in Medical Genetics and Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the Medical Genetics Training Program at Yale University School of Medicine. He has been Executive Director of the American College of Medical Genetics for the past 10 years and is an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis where he was Director of Clinical and Molecular Cytogenetics from 1986 2000. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Cytogenetics and PhD Medical Genetics.

Dr. Watson has a long-standing interest in the translation of genetic information into health care use. He was a founder of the American College of Medical Genetics for which he has served as Vice President for Laboratory Affairs and has chaired its Test and Technology Transfer Committee, Economics Committee, Laboratory Practices Committee and Intellectual Property Committee. He co-chaired the NIH-ELSI/HHS Task Force on Genetics Testing from 1995 1997. Most recently, he was the project director for a MCHB/HRSA funded project to bring uniformity to newborn screening in the United States. He is currently the Director of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded National Coordinating Center for Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening for the Collaboratives and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN) Coordinating Center.

Dr. Watson has been the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

"Mike Watson has been, without question, the most powerful force behind the success of the American College in Medical Genetics in establishing itself as the "go-to" authority on integration of genetics into medical practice," said ACMG's immediate past-president Bruce R. Korf, MD, PhD, FACMG. "There is no one in our community more deserving of our gratitude and recognition."

Dr. R. Rodney Howell, FACMG, president of the ACMG Foundation added, "Mike, as the first Executive Director of the American College of Medical Genetics, has been responsible for the dramatic expansion of the ACMG staff and the remarkable involvement of the organization in so many areas of genetics in the practice of medicine. With his outstanding leadership during this expansion, ACMG in the past ten years has demonstrated its critical role in the translation of genetic discoveries into the practice of medical genetics."


Contact: Kathy Beal, MBA
American College of Medical Genetics

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