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Implementing the NASEM Report on Using Race, Ethnicity and Ancestry Population Descriptors in Genomic Research

14 Mar 2024
Venue: Metro Toronto Convention Center
Meeting Room: 718
Research Methods
  • Accredited:
    • Accredited
  • Primary Categories:
    • Social, Ethical, and Legal Implications
  • Secondary Categories:
    • Social, Ethical, and Legal Implications
  • Level of Learner:
    • Basic
In this moderated panel, members of the editorial board of ACMG’s official journals, Genetics in Medicine and Genetics in Medicine Open, will discuss potential journal policies to implement the recommendations of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in its recently-released report on the use of race, ethnicity and ancestry as population descriptors in genomics research. The report specifically points to action items for a range of stakeholders in genomics research, including journals and professional societies.

In early 2021, members of the editorial board of Genetics in Medicine published Taking an antiracist posture in scientific publications in human genetics and genomics (Genetics in Medicine (2021) 23:1004 – 1007 which presented an argument for genetics and genomics journals to take action against systemic racism. The article’s principles and recommendations were discussed at the 2022 ACMG Annual Meeting. The NASEM Report echoes points in the article but adds more specific guidance for genomic researchers that are relevant to study design, implementation, and peer review, as well as for other stakeholders in the genomic research ecosystem such as funders, research institutions, and research participants.

This report recommends that journals provide guidance and education for editors, reviewers, authors, and other stakeholders. However, the report also calls for a major mindshift about genetic and genomic research when it recommends abandoning typological thinking.

Five panelists will address different aspects of the NASEM’s recommendations, followed by a moderated discussion among panelists and with the audience, tackling the overarching question of how ACMG’s official journals can and should implement the NASEM guidelines and honor their underlying ethical principles. 
The panel of speakers presenting is as follows:
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Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the 13 major recommendations of the NASEM 2023 report on using population descriptors in genetic research
  2. Identify at least one major recommendation from the report aimed at genetics journals
  3. Identify the 6 types of genome research for which racial population descriptors are no longer recommended
  4. Provide one example of a new submission guideline regarding the use of population descriptors in ACMGs official journals
  5. Identify one measure of genetic similarity for a situation in which use of this measure would be appropriate


  • Robin L. Bennett, MS, CGC
    Introduction: Implementing the NASEM Report on Using Race, Ethnicity & Ancestry as Population Descriptors in Genomic Research
    1:30 PM – 1:42 PM
  • Mildred K. Cho, PhD
    Overview of the NASEM Guidelines
    1:42 PM – 1:54 PM
  • Kyle B. Brothers, MD, PhD
    Tying the NASEM Report to Ethical Principles: Guidance for Genomic Researchers & Other Stakeholders
    1:54 PM – 2:06 PM
  • Cinthya J. Zepeda Mendoza, PhD
    Genomic Researchers & Transparency of Use & Assignment of Population Descriptors
    2:06 PM – 2:18 PM
  • Maria Laura Duque Lasio, MD, FACMG
    Implications of the NASEM Report to Scientific Journals and Professional Societies: Examples from Genetics in Medicine
    2:18 PM – 2:30 PM
  • Shuxi Liu, PhD
    Collaboration Between the ACMG DEI Committee & ClinGen on Defining Race, Ethnicity & Ancestry in Clinical Applications & Molecular Genetics & Genomics
    2:30 PM – 2:42 PM
  • Panel Discussion
    Panel Discussion and Q&A
    2:42 PM – 3:00 PM