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ASHG 2014 Honors Dr. Suzanne Cassidy with Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Suzanne B. Cassidy, M.D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco, as the 2014 recipient of the annual Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education. The ASHG award recognizes an individual for contributions of exceptional quality and importance to human genetics education internationally. Awardees have had long-standing involvement in genetics education, producing diverse contributions of substantive influence on individuals and/or organizations. Dr. Cassidy received her award, which includes a plaque and monetary prize, on Monday, October 20, 2014 during ASHG’s 64th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. She delivered her award address immediately thereafter. Dr. Cassidy is well-known for her clinical and research leadership in Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes low muscle tone, life-threatening obesity, and developmental delays. She has also played key roles in the medical genetics education of medical students, residents, and genetics trainees, as well as of patients and their families. She has developed a variety of education materials, including three editions of the textbook Management of Genetic Syndromes and clinical genetics training programs across the country. “Dr. Cassidy has worked tirelessly to improve genetics education and support patients in a variety of roles – as a teacher, mentor, physician, author, and advocate. This award celebrates her contributions to science, medicine, and the patient experience,” said Joseph McInerney, M.A., M.S., Executive Vice President of ASHG. Throughout her career, Dr. Cassidy has received numerous honors for her research and teaching, including election to several advisory boards, founding editorship for clinical genetics in the journal Genetics in Medicine, and visiting professorships at institutions in the United States and abroad. In addition, she was a member of the founding Residency Review Committee for Medical Genetics when it was first recognized as a medical specialty, and belonged to the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, which accredits genetics training programs and certifies medical geneticists. She currently serves as president of the International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation. ASHG also recognizes Dr. Cassidy’s substantial contributions to the Society. A longtime member, she belonged to ASHG’s Education and Information Committee from 1987-1990, participated in its Rapid Action Task Force on Genetic Testing in 1995, and was a member of its Nominating Committee in 2007. Dr. Cassidy also served on the ASHG Board of Directors from 1993-1995. [ASHG press release]