The European Society
of Human Genetics

Scientific Programme Committee - SPC

Scientific Programme Committee

Work of the Scientific Programme Committee

The functions of the SPC are:

  • to design the programme of the ESHG annual meeting. 
  • to nominate and invite speakers
  • to review submitted abstracts, accepting or rejecting them for poster or Electronic-poster presentation and selecting those for oral presentation
  • to select recipients of travel bursaries
  • to chair sessions at the meeting
  • to select winners of Young Scientist Awards
  • to select the person to receive the ESHG Award, the ESHG educational award and the Mendel award.

The Scientific Program Committee (SPC) consists of at least seven persons who are appointed by the Board. These have a term of four years. Membership of the SPC is not renewable for at least one year after the end of a term of office. Currently, the SPC consists of 35 member from 14 European countries.

Professor Alexandre Reymond, current SPC chair explains how the SPC functions.

Every year we have four meetings with the SPC: One in July and one in October in the year before the conference, one in March and one during the conference.

In July we evaluate the previous ESHG meeting and think of ways to improve it. Most important during that meeting is that we decide on the invitation of next year’s speakers for our Invited Symposia and Educational Sessions. In 2024, we will have more than 110 invited speakers. Presenting the most exciting and relevant new science in our field is the most important task of the SPC, and therefore inviting top scientists to our meeting is crucial. We do try to have a reasonable spread of countries represented and favour European speakers wherever possible, without compromising on the quality of the science and the speaker. We also try to make sure we are representative of the breadth of the discipline, i.e, that clinicians, people delivering diagnostic services and basic researchers will find some exciting topics. We firmly focus on education and training, and our educational sessions are meant to provide an introduction to a topic whilst providing all attendees with an up to date knowledge of the developments in the particular field. In addition, our workshops are a tool to make the programme more interactive, by allowing the audience to discuss hot topics in research, diagnostics and clinics. To cover the different fields and these tasks properly, our SPC members have been selected to represent a diverse panel of genetic topics and expertise. Since 2015, we invite our ESHG members to propose speakers online prior to this July meeting. Their suggestions are well appreciated and many of them are incorporated into the programme.

In October, we meet virtually to put the last touches to the program of the ESHG conference such as taking final decisions on the speakers for the opening plenary session. This later date allows us to be reactive to topics that are coming in the forefront. This is also the time when we assess the scientists who were proposed as awardee candidates and select the Mendel lecturer, the ESHG award lecturer and the ELPAG lecturer of the ESHG that will take place 20 months later.

The abstract submission for the ESHG conference opens in fall with a deadline in the beginning of February. In 2023, 2423abstracts were submitted for the Glasgow meeting. All abstracts are scored by a large group of volunteers, consisting of ESHG board members, SPC members and colleagues suggested by the SPC members, e.g. 130 different reviewers for Glasgow2023. Each abstract that is submitted for an oral presentation will be scored by at least 9 reviewers, whereas abstracts submitted for poster sessions will be scored by at least 3 reviewers. As of 2015, abstract scoring is done in a blinded fashion, so the reviewers do not see the authors and their affiliations when evaluating the abstracts.

In March, during the third SPC meeting we evaluate the abstract scoring and select the top abstracts for the highlight session, and other high ranked abstracts for the concurrent sessions. For example, in 2023, a little bit less than 7% of the submitted abstracts were selected for oral presentations ensuring that the best ongoing science will be presented. In recent years most of the abstracts selected for platform presentations were submitted by Early Award Candidates. Most of the remaining abstracts are selected for poster and E-poster presentations. Also we decide on abstracts to be rejected, poster award candidates and ESHG fellowships. For all of this work we get an enormous amount of support from a professional team of conference organizers of the Vienna Medical Academy. We are especially grateful for the unwavering help of Lydia Schnedl, Jana Ebert, Oscar Pacheco and Jérôme del Picchia.

Of note, a second deadline is set in April for “Late Breaking Abstracts”. The best six of these submissions are selected for oral presentation ensuring that attendees will be informed on the most recent discoveries.

At the ESHG annual conference in May or June the SPC members are involved in chairing sessions and in scoring the Early Award Candidates and Poster Award candidates. The fourth SPC meeting of the year (on the last day of the conference) is then dedicated to the selection of the winners of these awards.

We very much welcome suggestions and comments of members and attendees. Not every suggestion can be acted on, but each one is welcomed and considered. Please send me or anybody else of the SPC suggestions at any time by email, or approach us at the next ESHG!

Scientific Programme Committee 2023-2024

Members   Term ends
Alexandre Reymond, Chair Lausanne, Switzerland 2026
Julien Baruteau London, United Kingdom 2027
Tania Attie-Bitach Paris, France 2025
Juliana Miranda Cerqueira, Delegate of ESHG-Y Tampere, Finland 2026
Nicolas Chatron Lyon, France 2027
Thomas Eggermann Aachen, Germany 2025
Lars Feuk Uppsala, Sweden 2024
Francesca Forzano, Observer PEC London, United Kingdom N/A
Andrea Ganna Helsinki, Finland 2026
Elisa Giorgio Turin, Italy 2024
Alexander Hoischen Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2026
Mridul Johari, Delegate of ESHG-Y Perth, Australia 2026
Hülya Kayserili Istanbul, Turkey 2025
Peter Krawitz Bonn, Germany 2025
Karoline Kuchenbaecker London, United Kingdom 2025
Bart Loeys Antwerp, Belgium 2026
Robert Meyer, Delegate of the GfH Aachen, Germany 2027
Stefan Mundlos, Delegate of the GfH Berlin, Germany 2027
William Newman, Observer EduCom Manchester, United Kingdom N/A
Zoltan Kutalik Lausanne, Switzerland 2024
Carla Oliveira, Observer Executive Board Porto, Portugal N/A
Kelly Ormond Zurich, Switzerland 2024
Barbara Rivera Polo Barcelona, Spain 2024
Inga Prokopenko Surrey, United Kingdom 2027
Cristina Rodriguez-Antona Madrid, Spain 2025
Kaitlin Samocha Cambridge, MA, United States 2027
Christian Schaaf Heidelberg, Germany 2024
Mahsa Shabani Gent, Belgium 2026
Andrew Sinclair Parkville, Australia 2025
Malte Spielmann, Delegate of the GfH Kiel, Germany 2024
Danya Vears Melbourne, Australia 2026
João Vinagre Porto, Portugal 2027
Tina-Marie Wessels Cape Town, South Africa 2026
Karin Writzl, Observer Executive Board Ljubljana, Slovenia N/A
Lydia Schnedl Austria, Vienna N/A
Jana Ebert Austria, Vienna N/A
Jerome del Picchia Austria, Vienna N/A


SPC members are appointed for a term of 4 years. SPC-chairs for 2 years renewable and shall automatically remain a member of the SPC for a period of 2 years after the end of chairmanship. The local society of the country in which the conference takes place, can nominate up to 4 members to join the SPC for the year. Their term automatically ends with the conference. 
The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, as well as the chairpersons of the Education Committee and the Public and Ethical Committees are ex-officio observers. The ESHG Young Committee nominates two members as delegates.