International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics



The International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics is a five-year initiative (2016-2020) designed to help developing nations build and expand their knowledge base, infrastructure, systems and technologies in genetics and genomics. Each fall, researchers from abroad travel to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for one month of in-person training at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The Summit helps them to understand the prevalence and basis of genetic diseases in their nations and to address these public health challenges. The 2018 Summit will be held on August 29 - September 29, 2018.

Genetic disorders contribute significantly to the world's burden of disease. Many countries do not have genetically trained researchers and healthcare professionals available to address this burden, or the training to correct this deficit. As a consequence, opportunities to reduce the burden of disease are frequently missed. Acquiring and applying knowledge about genetics and genomic research through training programs like the International Summit makes it possible to anticipate, prevent, diagnose and treat many genetic and congenital birth defects, alleviating the burden these diseases have on individuals, their families and their nations.

Outcomes from the 2016 and 2017 Summits have been remarkable. Participants have established nearly 30 collaborations with investigators at NIH, other US-based academic institutions and among themselves. More than 50 have published articles related to their field of expertise and nearly 25 have received grants from NIH or other funding institutions. Based on Summit survey feedback and the annual outcomes on the Summits, the Summit has trained 45 professionals from 37 countries and is making great strides in achieving its goals.

For more information, please visit the NIH Summit webpage here.

Learn about the International Summit in this video:


The FNIH currently seeks funding to support this program.

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  • Encourage and strengthen cooperation and collaboration in genetic and genomic research and medicines across the globe.
  • Expand the knowledge base in genetics and genomics among researchers and young health-professionals in developing nations.
  • Integrate accurate genetic and genomic information and its related technologies in clinical practice for the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases.
  • Reduce health disparities and the burden of disease and disability on people and the economies of developing nations.

Results & Accomplishments

2017 International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics Report

NHGRI training has had proven results, as described in this testament from Manjit Kaur, NHGRI Program Specialist, about a previous trainee:

A researcher and pediatrician from Thailand, Dr. Shotelersuk trained with the Medical Genetics Branch at NHGRI. Upon returning to his home country, he shared information and training that led to the establishment of medical services and research opportunities in Tropical Genetic Diseases in Thailand. Now Head of the Division of Medical Genetics and Metabolism in the Department of Pediatrics at King Chulalong-korn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, Dr. Shotelersuk published a book entitled Clinical Genetics in Children. Today, Thailand has 22 clinical geneticists and has offered training fellowships since 2014. The country has invested in outreach clinics with the help of the Red Cross, to treat children with oral clefts and has expanded research opportunities in rare and common genetic and infectious diseases.

2018 Summit Partners Include

American Society of Human Genetics and Genomics
March of Dimes Foundation
Mayo Clinic

2017 Summit Partners

Fogarty International Center
March of Dimes
Mayo Clinic
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
National Cancer institute
National Eye Institute
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research 
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities


For additional information, please contact Shawn Stern, Development Associate, at