Public Release: 

Jin Yun Helen Chen, MS, CGC, receives 2019 ACMG Foundation Lovell Genetic Counselor Award

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

Jin Yun Helen Chen, MS, CGC was presented with the ACMG Foundation Carolyn Mills Lovell Genetic Counselor Award at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Genetic Counselor's Luncheon, during the 2019 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Ms. Chen, MS, CGC was selected to receive the award for her platform presentation, "Phenotype Genotype Variability among Sibships with Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Implications for Newborn Screening and Early Treatment Intervention."

Ms. Chen is a certified genetic counselor working with Dr. Kathryn Swoboda in the Neurogenetics Unit, Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She specializes in providing genetic counseling services to patients and families with neuromuscular and neurodegenerative conditions. She is also a member of Medical Advisory Council for the CURE SMA. Before joining the Massachusetts General Hospital, she was a laboratory genetic counselor in the Division of Genomic Diagnostic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she gained expertise in variants analysis and report interpretation for both sequence variants and copy number alterations. She received her master's degree in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University and bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Carolyn Mills Lovell Award was made possible by a generous donation by former ACMG Medical Director, David Flannery, MD, FAAP, FACMG to honor genetic counselor Carolyn Mills Lovell, MAT, MS, CGC. A genetic counselor who continues to provide exemplary service and care to patients and their families at Augusta University, previously known as the Medical College of Georgia (MCG). Dr. Flannery worked with Carolyn Mills Lovell for over 15 years while he was at MCG. Through this award he also wanted to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of genetic counselors around the world.

The award includes a cash prize of $1,000 and is presented to one recipient annually through 2025. The recipient is chosen based on the highest rated abstract submitted by a Genetic Counselor to the ACMG Annual Meeting.

ACMG Foundation President Bruce R. Korf, MD, PhD, FACMG said, "We are pleased to recognize the critical contribution of genetic counselors as part of the genetic and genomic medicine workforce."

"I am extremely honored and humbled to be the recipient of this year's Carolyn Mill Lovell Award. This demonstrates the importance of our work to delineate the implications of modifier genes on SMA disease severity and age of onset in order to better understand the condition and provide optimal care to patients and families. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work from our team members, collaborators and study subjects. Without their efforts and contribution, this project would not be possible," said Ms. Chen.

"Congratulations to Ms. Chen on winning the 5th Carolyn Mills Lovell Award. This Award was established to recognize the important role of Genetic Counselors in the ACMG. Her study is a valuable contribution to clinical genetics and to newborn screening. It demonstrates the value of disease registries and also the important role Genetic Counselors play in research and clinical care," said David Flannery, MD, FAAP, FACMG.

The ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine (ACMGF) is a community of supporters and contributors who understand the importance of medical genetics and genomics in healthcare. A non-profit organization established in 1992, the Foundation supports the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) mission to "translate genes into health"; to foster charitable giving, promote training opportunities to attract future medical geneticist and genetic counselors, to share information about medical genetics, to sponsor important research and much more.


To learn more and support the ACMGF mission to create "Better Health through Genetics", please contact Nicole O. Bell, ACMG Foundation Manager, at or 301-718-9604 or visit

Note to editors: To arrange interviews with experts in medical genetics, contact Kathy Moran, MBA, ACMG Senior Director of Public Relations at or 301-238-4582.

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