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Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, M.D., Ph.D., receives the 2017 Richard King Trainee Award

Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, M.D., Ph.D., of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia receives the 2017 Richard King Trainee Award for Best Publication in Genetics in Medicine

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, MD, PhD of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is the recipient of the 2017 Richard King Trainee Award. This award was instituted by the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine to encourage ABMGG, international equivalents or genetic counseling trainees in their careers and to foster the publication of the highest quality research in ACMG's peer-reviewed journal, Genetics in Medicine (GIM).

Each year the editorial board reviews all articles published in GIM by an ABMGG or genetic counseling trainee who was either a first or corresponding author during that year. The manuscript considered to have the most merit is selected by the editorial board and a cash prize, along with meeting expenses, was awarded at the 2017 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

Dr. Ahrens-Nicklas, was given the award for her manuscript titled, "Morbidity and mortality among exclusively breastfed neonates with medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency," which was published in the May 2016 issue of Genetics in Medicine. From her research, Dr. Ahrens-Nicklas helped identify the risk of early decompensation in exclusively-breastfed newborns with MCAD. Out of a total of 46 infants with MCAD, 11 were symptomatic prior to the return of the NBS results. All symptomatic infants were exclusively breastfed. In conclusion, as breastfeeding rates increase nationwide, close management of feeding difficulties is essential for all neonates awaiting NBS results.

"I am honored to be the recipient of this years' Richard King Award. I want to thank the ACMG Foundation for recognizing our work, and I look forward to attending the 2017 ACMG meeting. I hope that this award helps to draw attention to the critical issue of how to protect our patients with inborn errors of metabolism in the neonatal period," said Dr. Ahrens-Nicklas.

Jim Evans, MD, PhD and editor-in-chief of GIM stated, "The competition this year was particularly fierce for the King award. In the end the editorial board felt that Dr. Ahrens-Nicklas' manuscript warranted the award given the direct utility of the results for patients and those practicing medical genetics."


The award is given by the ACMG Foundation and is named for Dr. Richard King in recognition of his instrumental role in creating Genetics in Medicine and serving as the first and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Eligible trainees include those in the following programs: Clinical Biochemical Genetics; Clinical Cytogenetics; Clinical Molecular Genetics Combined Internal Medicine/Genetics; Combined Pediatrics/Genetics; PhD Medical Genetics and Genetic Counseling.

The ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a community of supporters and contributors who understand the importance of medical genetics in healthcare. Established in 1992, the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine supports the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics' mission to "translate genes into health" by raising funds to attract the next generation of medical geneticists and genetic counselors, to sponsor important research, to promote information about medical genetics, and much more. To learn more about the important mission and projects of the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine and how you too can support this great cause, please visit or contact us at or 301-718-2014.

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