Public Release:  ASHG and NHGRI award genetics and public policy fellowship

Fellowship prepares geneticists for careers in science policy

American Society of Human Genetics

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IMAGE: This is Katherine D. Blizinsky, Ph.D., ASHG/NHGRI Genetics and Public Policy Fellow. view more

Credit: (Photo courtesy: Katherine Blizinsky)

BETHESDA, MD - The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have named Katherine D. Blizinsky, PhD, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University in Chicago, the newest ASHG/NHGRI Genetics and Public Policy Fellow. The 16-month appointment begins today.

The Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship is intended to help early-career genetics professionals develop and implement genetics-related health and research policy at a national level. Fellows in the program gain policy experience in diverse settings by completing rotations in the non-profit science advocacy sector at ASHG, in the executive branch at NHGRI, and in the legislative branch as a staff member on Capitol Hill. ASHG and NHGRI have jointly sponsored the fellowship since 2002.

Dr. Blizinsky has served in various genetics research roles since 2008, studying varying topics in the areas of psychiatric neurogenetics and genomics, gene-environment coevolution of psychiatric susceptibility, and imaging genetics of neurological and psychiatric conditions. She received the Sage Bionetworks Young Investigator Award in 2012 and co-founded Science Policy Initiative Northwestern, an organization that fosters science policy dialogue in the university community through panel discussions, lectures, and interactive debates.

"With her diversity of experience inside and outside the genetics laboratory, Dr. Blizinsky will bring her practical knowledge of genetics research to settings where the potential impact of that research can be more fully realized and disseminated," said Joseph McInerney, MA, MS, executive vice president of ASHG.

"Our fellows have gone on to work at a wide variety of influential organizations," said Derek Scholes, PhD, chief of NHGRI's Policy and Program Analysis Branch. "We're confident that this fellowship will provide a good foundation for Dr. Blizinsky's career in health policy."

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