NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine announced today that it has received a $1.7 million grant from Irish biopharmaceutical firm Shire to fund 10 training fellowships.
The one-to-two year awards will be used to train medical geneticists over the next three years with the aim of helping to end the shortage of medical geneticists in the US, the foundation said. "We have reached a critical juncture in terms of the integration of medical genetics into healthcare," said ACMG Foundation Executive Director Michael Watson in a statement.
"Though geneticists are essential to the diagnosis and management of rare diseases and for the care of individuals with genetic conditions, we are faced with a significant deficit in the number of laboratory and clinical geneticists in the United States," he said, adding that "Shire's grant … will help grow the genetics workforce."
The grant is the largest single corporate gift the foundation has ever received.
"This grant represents an investment in the future of medical genetics and genomics," added ACMG Foundation President Bruce Korf in the statement. "It will not only increase the workforce, but also will help seed the next generation of medical geneticists, who in turn will provide both service and training. The return on investment here will be huge."