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Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practitioner Education in Genomics (ISCC)

ISCC meeting room with participants around the table


The Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practitioner Education in Genomics (ISCC) formed in February 2013 from the Genomic Medicine IV meeting to improve genomic literacy of physicians and other practitioners and to enhance the practice of genomic medicine through sharing of educational approaches and joint identification of educational needs. The group facilitates interactions among medical professional societies and the NIH Institutes & Centers to exchange practices and resources in genomic education and clinical care.  By identifying needs of societies and clinicians in filling in gaps in evidence and knowledge and in providing effective educational efforts, the ISCC offers partnership and available expertise to these societies to guide development of educational initiatives and applications for clinically relevant advances in genomic science.  Incremental evolution in identification of relevant sequence variation will permit gradual expansion of practitioners' knowledge and practice in applying genomics to clinical care.
For more information on the ISCC and its mission, refer to the following ISCC DescriptionPDF file


The ISCC brings together representatives from medical professional societies, NIH Institutes & Centers (ICs), and the NHGRI Genomic Medicine Working Group. The ISCC is co-chaired by an NIH official and an external member.


Richard Haspel, M.D., Ph.D. (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) 
Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D. (National Human Genome Research Institute)

Executive Secretary

Donna Messersmith, Ph.D.  (National Human Genome Research Institute)

Members and Federal Agency Partners

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Working Groups

A participant raising her hand during the ISCC meetingThe Inter-Society Coordinating Committee commissioned four initial working groups to address major areas identified at the Genomic Medicine IV meeting that are critical to effective implementation of clinical genomics. Each working group plays a key role in engaging medical professional societies, collecting and reviewing existing specialty-specific educational products and competencies, and proposing strategies for establishing cross-specialty standards for resident training and practicing physician education programs in genomic-based medicine.  Additional working groups have since formed around key issues in genomic medicine education.

Building Bridges (Michael Dougherty, Chair)

  • This single-task workgroup will develop a simple process for matching members of the ISCC that wish to develop education programs for their specialist constituents but lack the independent capacity to do so with members of the ISCC who have the education capacity but lack the specialty knowledge and connections with society champions.

Case Studies (Retired)

  • Collect existing use cases and disseminate through ISCC dissemination efforts.
  • Develop general and society-specific use cases in genetics in five general topic areas:
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Family History
    • Rare, single gene disorders
    • Common Disease with genetic component
    • Whole Genome/Exome sequencing
      • Incidental Findings
  • Coordinate with the Educational Products WG to identify and develop materials to support use cases
  • Coordinate with the Competencies WG to review existing competencies and explore how to translate into use cases that support competency achievement.
  • Engage with the specialty end users to:
  • Identify subjects of interest for use case development.
  • Evaluate disseminated use cases for relevance and utility.

Competencies (Retired)

  • Review surveys and other sources to see what competencies would fit into current clinical practice.
  • Review any existing competencies in genomic medicine education and existing guidelines in the use of genomics.
  • Work with individual professional societies to determine their desire for competencies and where they would fit in.  
  • This working group completed its primary aims and went dormant in January 2015.
  • Competencies in Genomic Medicine, Korf et al. 2014 PDF file
  • ISCC Competencies DocumentMicrosoft Word file

Global Educational Products Working Group (Thomas Schultz and Donna Messersmith, Co-Chairs)

Engagement of Specialty Boards

  • Determine the extent that specialty boards already have genomics in their examinations.
  • Reach out to specialty boards that may not be integrating genomics into exams at this time.
  • Link specialty boards with relevant professional societies that are already implementing genomics education or are looking to implement.  

Innovative Approaches to Education (Richard Haspel and Teri Manolio, Co-Chairs)

  •  Develop novel ways to teach genomics, building on the highly successful 'Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG)' approach developed through the American Society of Clinical Pathologists

Insurer Staff Education (Retired)

  • Identify areas of greatest need for genomics knowledge in the clinical context among the staff and medical directors of health insurers' claims and preauthorization processing pipelines.
  • Execute a pilot webinar series to educate insurer staff, and gather effectiveness data iteratively.

Speaking Genetics (Retired)

  • Identify language use patterns in genomics spoken language in professional, community and patient-provider contexts.
  • Create recommendations for language use in patient-centered genomics communications that optimize understanding and minimize the need to learn new scientific, medical or technical terms and phrases.

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ISCC Meetings and Activities

Resources and Articles


ISCC RosterPDF file
ISCC Competencies DocumentMicrosoft Word file


Musunuru K, Haspel RL; Innovative Approaches to Education Working Group of the Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practitioner Education in Genomics. Improving Genomic Literacy Among Cardiovascular Practitioners via a Flipped-Classroom Workshop at a National Meeting. Circ Cardiovasc Genet, 9(3):287-90. 2016.  [Full Text]

Competencies in Genomic Medicine, Korf et al. 2014PDF file
Development of a Competency-Based Genomic Education Resource for Physicians, Weitzel et al. 2015PDF file
The growing role of professional societies in educating clinicians in genomics, Manolio and Murray 2014 []


Ashley D. Lewis, MPH
Scientific Program Analyst
National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

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Last Updated: January 23, 2018