The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Kári Stefánsson, MD, founder of deCODE Genetics, the 2017 recipient of the annual William Allan Award. The Allan Award, which recognizes a scientist for substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics, was established in 1961 in memory of William Allan, MD (1881-1943), one of the first American physicians to conduct extensive research on human genetics and hereditary diseases. Dr. Stefánsson was to receive his award, which will include an engraved medal and $25,000 prize, on October 18, 2017 during ASHG’s 67th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. He was to present his William Allan Award address immediately thereafter. In 1996, Dr. Stefánsson founded deCODE Genetics with the vision of a large-scale population study in Iceland, a country with a relatively small, isolated, and homogenous population; a high-quality healthcare system; and extensive genealogical records. Through active engagement with the Icelandic population, deCODE has now collected DNA samples from more than 160,000 individuals and contributed greatly to public education about genetics in the country.
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