Letter from the President

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is my privilege and honor to serve as the President of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC) for 2020-2021.  First and foremost, my role as president is to serve the CGC organization, its members and board of directors, and to make sure that every voice is heard, and every opinion is valued and appreciated. Looking forward, I am hoping to continue to promote and support the CGC mission and values.

In the past year, the CGC has experienced incredible triumphs and accomplishments: From navigating unchartered waters in substituting a beloved in-person annual conference for a first-time experience in a virtual meeting to seeing record growth in membership and continued collaborative engagements from the laboratory genomics community.  We also saw an unprecedented increase in meeting attendance, tremendous progress aimed at promoting education and communication, as well as collaborations with other professional societies to advance genomic science.  We have witnessed the completion of the second series of publications from the CGC working groups on CNS tumors, breast and renal cancers and B-ALL in Cancer Genetics, the successful launch of the highly acclaimed CGC webinar series, and the continued progress of the our genomic resource database, the CCGA.  We have also supported a great initiative led by the junior board members in helping LGG and MGP fellows as they prepare to take on laboratory leadership.  We owe this success to the incredible engagement by members of the Board of Directors, CGC committees and our membership base. Thank you for your help in driving forward our successes. I would also like to thank Dr. Adrian Dubuc for his great leadership during his past year and acknowledge his continuing service to the CGC in his new role as Past-President and Chair of the Nomination Committee.

As we recently concluded the CGC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the CGC Executive Administrator, Karla Gay, the 2020 program committee as well as all the keynote and invited speakers, platform presenters, moderators and facilitators for their role in assuring a triumphant meeting.  In looking ahead to 2021, the CGC will continue to represent its membership in serving the broader community of laboratory geneticists who have dedicated their careers to improving patient care.  We will look forward to the publication of the third series of CGC manuscripts and welcome Dr. Stuart Schwartz in his role as the CGC-appointed liaison to Cancer Genetics.  
I would also like to congratulate Dr. Patricia Miron in her new role as the President-Elect and chair of the Program Committee for the CGC 2021 Annual Meeting.  Dr. Miron has served on the BOD for the last three years and as treasurer for the last two years.  Please help me welcome Patty as she leads us to a very successful and hopefully in-person meeting.  Furthermore, we welcome Dr. Xinjie Xu in her new role as CGC treasurer.

Please also allow me to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the Board of Directors (BOD): Dr. Min Fang, CGC 2018-2019 President and a true visionary who has worked tirelessly to ensure our sustained success, and Dr. Niroshi Seranatne, junior member and a new bright star in our field as she transitions into her laboratory leadership role.  In turn, please help me welcome Dr. Linda Baughn as a new member of the BOD and Dr. Rebecca Smith who will serve as a junior board member.

The year 2020 will invariably be remembered by many of us as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic challenges, and unfortunate social and racial disparities.  However, in trying to find the silver lining in every situation, I urge you to remember 2020 as the time we had with our families, and the time when we realized that a simple get together with loved ones and the ability to attend scientific conferences with friends and colleagues are true privileges to be cherished. As an immigrant of a country torn by a civil war and a past resident of a city recently destroyed by a horrific event, I left my home hoping to make difference in a career that has no political or religious boundaries, where compassion and patient care are paramount.  I remain committed to ensuring that our worldwide CGC community will continue to embody diversity and inclusion and value patient care, scientific discoveries and technological advances.

Thank you for entrusting me in this role.  I look forward to connecting with all of you throughout the coming year.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at yakkari@lhs.org with your thoughts, insights and suggestions for ways to better serve you.

Sincerely, 



Yassmine Akkari, PhD, FACMG
President, Cancer Genomics Consortium
Scientific Director, Cytogenetics and Molecular Pathology
Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon