Letter from the President
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am humbled and deeply honored to step into the role of President of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC) for the 2023-2024 term. This is a moment of immense privilege and responsibility, especially as CGC rides a wave of momentum and is on the cusp of expansion, characterized by flourishing membership and a host of innovative initiatives aimed at advancing clinical cancer genomics. As we embark on this journey together, I want to reflect on the incredible path that has led us here.
My journey has been sculpted by remarkable individuals who have contributed to our collective vision of advancing genomics for patient patient care. I owe a debt of gratitude to Min Fang, who played a pivotal role in my initial engagement with the CGC through a working group. Working alongside Min Fang, Gordana Raca, and Alan Lennon, I was immediately dazzled by the knowledge and talent of the leaders and members of this consortium. Aside from their down-to-earth nature, what struck me most was their productive engagement of providing constant support and encouragement, all centered around a singular goal of guiding genomic testing in clinical labs for patient care. Through the CGC, I have had the fortune of building a strong network of world-renowned mentors and friends, Anwar Iqbal, Brynn Levy, Xinjie Xu, Alka Chaubey, Yassmine Akkari, Patty Miron, Obi Griffith, Linda Baughn, and several others, each of whom has enlightened and inspired me with their unique talents. Min played a pivotal role in encouraging me to step into the role of President, and her belief in my leadership has been a driving force. The vote of confidence under Yassmine’s leadership was both humbling and motivating. I am grateful for everyone who has supported and mentored me along the way. Together, we shape the CGC's path in navigating new horizons.
Hosting the CGC 14th Annual Meeting has been the pinnacle of my professional journey. The 2023 meeting witnessed a record-breaking attendance, and featured esteemed keynote and invited speakers from across the world. The meeting's purview expanded the role of genomics beyond the traditional boundaries of oncology, into the realm of autoimmune disorders. This year's meeting introduced the innovative concept of Scientific Spotlight Symposia, aimed at fostering collaborations with external organizations, such as IARC, ISCN, and GOAL consortia. It is noteworthy that the CGC meeting took the lead in unveiling the new ISCN nomenclature, designed for the reporting of cytogenomic aberrations using novel genome mapping technologies. In an inaugural initiative, we hosted the first CGC Social event, which proved invaluable in facilitating networking and connections for members in an informal setting. Furthermore, we took the opportunity to bestow the CGC Recognition Awards, to show appreciation of the dedicated efforts of our members in shaping our organization. It was indeed an honor to present the first of these awards to Brynn Levy, who is most deserving of this accolade.
In keeping with the CGC's overarching mission to extend its global influence, the 2023 Annual Meeting marked a momentous pivot towards greater internationalization. We witnessed the CGC undergo a profound transformation into a truly global organization, with 19% of our attendees representing twenty different countries, mirroring the current makeup of our membership. We have taken deliberate steps to promote wider global engagement including reduced membership and meeting registration fees for nations with limited resources. It is my firm belief that our international ambassadors will continue to drive this transformative process, effectively bridging geographical divides and expanding our global outreach.
Beyond the Annual Meeting, our CGC Committees and Programs have remained highly active, offering a rich array of educational webinars, nurturing enduring partnerships with IARC/WHO, expanding the resources of the CCGA, and unique early career initiatives, among other activities. Our outreach efforts on various social media platforms have yielded noteworthy success, and I encourage you to anticipate exciting developments in the months ahead.
I extend a warm welcome to our new Board of Directors members Casey Brewer, Celeste Eno, Cate Pascal, and Adam Smith. To our departing Board members Xinjie Xu, Linda Baughn and Marilena Melas, we thank you wholeheartedly for your invaluable dedication. My gratitude to Xinjie Xu for her commitment to continue as the treasurer and to Fady Mikhail as the Secretary. Congratulations and best wishes to Jane Houldsworth, our incoming President-Elect, as she embarks on the exhilarating journey of leading the #CGCAnnual2024 meeting. The anticipation of what lies ahead is palpable, and I eagerly look forward to the new frontier that awaits us. Lastly, I want to offer my profound appreciation to Obi Griffith for his exceptional leadership as outgoing President. I wish to extend my sincere appreciation for his instrumental role in the strategic expansion of bioinformatics membership and collaborations, which has significantly contributed to making our organization whole and robust in the field of genomics.
In closing, I wish to convey my heartfelt appreciation for the trust you have vested in me to steer the CGC. This role is both a privilege and a profound responsibility that I embrace with steadfast commitment. Together, we will relentlessly push the boundaries of what can be achieved in the realm of genomics, with an unwavering commitment to enhancing patient care. I am genuinely enthusiastic about the journey ahead, as we unite to confront these challenges head-on. My leadership ethos is one of collaboration, gratitude, and steadfast commitment. Together, we shall not merely address these obstacles; we will transcend them, achieving remarkable progress in our field.
President, Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC)
Associate Professor, Department of Hematopathology
Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory – Microarray
Adjunct Faculty, School of Health Professions
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center