The ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine said today it has received a $1.65 million commitment from Shire to fund 10 one- to two-year training awards for medical geneticists over the next three years—the foundation’s single largest corporate gift in its history.
“Shire’s grant to the ACMG Foundation will open doors to the training of a new generation of practitioners and will make a tremendous difference in the lives of children, their families, and the rare disease community overall for decades to come,” Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov, M.D., said in a statement.
Shire’s gift is intended to facilitate the funding of 10 genetic fellowships to help address the shortage of medical geneticists in the U.S., the foundation said. The funding will be carried out through the ACMG Foundation/Shire Laboratory Geneticist Fellowship and Clinical Genetics Residency Awards Program.
“This grant represents an investment in the future of medical genetics and genomics,” stated the foundation’s president Bruce R. Korf, M.D., Ph.D. “It will not only increase the workforce, but also 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.”
Michael S. Watson, Ph.D., the foundation’s executive director, added that Shire’s gift “will help grow the genetics workforce, which will directly benefit patients and their families dealing with rare genetic diseases.”
“We have reached a critical juncture in terms of the integration of medical genetics into health care,” Dr. Watson added.
Established in 1992, the foundation raises funds toward purposes that include attracting young medical geneticists and genetic counselors into the profession, sponsoring research, and promoting information about medical genetics.