The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named David Valle (photo), M.D., Henry J. Knott Professor and Director at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as the 2014 recipient of the annual Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award. This award, named in honor of the late Victor A. McKusick, M.D., known widely as the “father of medical genetics,” recognizes individuals whose professional achievements have fostered and enriched the development of human genetics as well as its assimilation into the broader context of science, medicine, and health. ASHG presented the McKusick Award, which will include a plaque and $2,500 monetary prize, to Dr. Valle on Monday, October 20, 2014, during ASHG’s 64th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. In his acceptance address, Dr. Valle noted that he had had the distinct honor of serving under at least two legendary and towering figures during his long and continuing tenure at Hopkins, namely Victor McKusick and Barton Childs. “Over the years, Dr. Valle has had a tremendous impact on human genetics research, leading various studies and consortia on biochemical genetics and genomics in the United States and internationally,” said Joseph D. McInerney, M.A., M.S., and executive vice president of ASHG. “At the same time, he has maintained a prominent role in improving human genetics education and medical genetics training from K-12 science classes through the postgraduate level,” he added. Dr. Valle’s research focuses on the genetic factors underlying human health and disease, including specific genetic diseases and the broader interactions between genes and the proteins they encode that influence health and disease.
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