The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the premier biomedical-research institution in the world. Its mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. Its mission extends globally and many of the Institutes and Centers (IC) at NIH are involved in several global health initiatives.
The Human Genome Project (HGP), led by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH, was the world's largest, government sponsored, collaborative, biological project that helped sequence the human genome. This effort benefitted the world, as it provided new insights into the genetic contribution to disease.
Many scientists and consortia are now working on collecting data on variations in human genes and their association with disease (e.g. Human Variome Project, UNESCO). These efforts will help find new, improved and cost-effective approaches for genetic diseases, which take a toll on the economies of developing nations and affects some of the most vulnerable populations.
This summit is a 5-year initiative (2016-2020) designed to help developing nations build and expand their knowledge base, infrastructure, systems and technologies in genetics and genomics, in order to help them understand the prevalence and basis of genetic diseases in their nations, and to help them address their public health challenges. This will result in helping them to improve their economies and in building healthier nations worldwide.
Genetic disorders, both monogenic and polygenic, contribute significantly to the world's burden of disease. It is widely recognized that many countries do not have genetically trained researchers and healthcare professionals available to address this burden. Furthermore, many such countries lack training in genomic research and medicine in their graduate and medical school curricula, and thus will be unable to correct this deficit in the foreseeable future. As a consequence, critical opportunities that can reduce the burden of disease in these nations, through the use of comprehensive information obtained from research and clinics that can help health care providers and patients make informed decisions, implement proven preventive strategies for a growing number of inherited diseases and disorders, and provide effective management of children born with birth defects, are frequently missed.
As infant mortality declines, genetic diseases and congenital birth defects increasingly add to the public health burden. Genetic and congenital birth defects impose tremendous economic hardships on the families of the afflicted individuals and are a drain on the economies of low and middle-income nations.
Advances in human genetics and genomic research now make it possible to prevent, diagnose and treat many genetic and congenital birth defects, alleviating the burden these diseases have on individuals, their families and their nations. In addition, a growing number of strategies help manage these unanticipated conditions, providing for a better quality of life, while lessening the burden on local and national economies.
Besides improving the capacity of native researchers and professionals in innovating and managing in the realm of genetics and genomics, the program aims to encourage collaborations and networking capabilities between groups and individuals of the participating nations.
The significance of this program is to communicate advances in genomic science to the global community; to identify and fill the knowledge gap in genetics and genomics and their related technologies, in developing nations; and to promote genomic research and medicine, through international cooperation and collaboration.
The program is designed and will strive to accomplish the following goals:
The curriculum will be in English and at the graduate school level (Masters degree and beyond) for healthcare professionals (Researchers, Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Counselors, Graduate and Medical School trainees) from developing nations. It is constructed to meet the goals and will include the following:
Maximilian Muenke, M.D.
Manjit Kaur, M.S., M.B.A.
Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Director, NHGRI
William Gahl, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Director NHGRI and Office of the Clinical Director, Head, Undiagnosed Disease Program and Human Biochemical Genetics Program, NHGRI
Maximilian Muenke, M.D., Chief & Senior Investigator, Medical Genetics Branch Head, Human Development Section Director, Medical Genetics & Genomic Medical Training Program, NHGRI
Adebowale Adeyemo, M.D.
Ann Cashion, Ph.D., R.N.
Brian Brooks, M.D., Ph.D.
Sherri Bale, Ph.D.
Robert Lipinski, Ph.D.
The program is intended to train health care professionals and trainees from developing nations that that are in their early-mid career stage. The curriculum is designed in English for healthcare professionals with an advanced understanding of the biological sciences. Hence, research scientists (Ph.D.), physicians (M.B.B.S./M.D.), dentists (D.D.S./D.M.D.), dentist-scientists, nurses (M.S./Ph.D.), counselors (M.S./Ph.D.) and medical, dental and graduate school trainees can apply. Selected candidates will be fully sponsored (travel, local transportation (in the United States), lodging: same sex, 2 persons/room, per diem), for the duration of the summit (Sept. 1st-30th, 2016).
We are no longer accepting applications for Sept. 2016. Only selected candidates will be informed by the last week of July. We will resume accepting applications in April 2017. Please check this web page frequently, for updates.
The International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics (2016) is sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and other Institutes and Centers (IC): (NIDCD, NIDCR, NEI, NHLBI, NIMHD, NINR and FIC) at NIH; and generous contributions to the Foundation for the NIH from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mayo Clinic, March of Dimes, American Dental Association Foundation and Sequenom Corporation.
Last Updated: September 19, 2016