JAX Genomic Medicine Scientific Director Charles Lee named president of international Human Genome Organization (HUGO)

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO International) has named as its new president Charles Lee, Ph.D., FACMG, professor and scientific director of The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for Genomic Medicine and distinguished professor of Ewha Womans University. 

The announcement came during HUGO’s annual meeting, the Human Genome Meeting 2016 (HGM2016) in Houston, Texas. 

Charles Lee and Stylianos Antonarakis
JAX Genomic Medicine Scientific Director Charles Lee (left) will serve as president-elect of HUGO for one year and then succeed the current president, Stylianos Antonarakis (right) of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in February 2017.

Lee is a distinguished biomedical scientist who first discovered widespread structural variation in the human genome in 2004, in the form of copy number variation (CNV). Before coming to The Jackson Laboratory, he was previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and a clinical laboratory geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

Lee says, “The Jackson Laboratory and Ewha Womans University will be actively collaborating with HUGO to expand HUGO’s presence throughout the world, and creating an expert international panel for human genomics.” 

Moreover, he notes, “HUGO is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to addressing the global opportunities and challenges associated with the rapid advances in human genomics. This includes expanding the educational ecosystems and forums for bioethics as well as encouraging international collaborations and advancing new technologies.” 

Lee has served on HUGO’s Council since 2014. He will serve as president-elect for one year and then succeed the current president, Stylianos Antonarakis, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in February 2017. Starting March 1, 2016, the headquarters of HUGO will move from Singapore to Seoul, South Korea, on the campus of Ewha Womans University. 

“HUGO is very pleased with the smooth transition of its office to South Korea,” Antonarakis says, “and with Dr. Lee’s efforts to build worldwide support for our organization.” 

Lee’s honors include a Scientific Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the 2008 Ho-Am Prize in Medicine, and the George Brumley Jr. Memorial Award from Duke University. He is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Thompson Reuter Citation Laureate. In 2012, he received the Chen Global Investigator Award from HUGO. 

HUGO was founded in 1988 to coordinate international research on the human genome, fostering collaborations among scientists and facilitating the development and exchange of data, materials and new technologies, as well as encouraging and providing expertise for public debate on the scientific, ethical, social, legal and commercial implications of human genome projects. 

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and has a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. It employs over 1,700 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. v