Special Interest Groups

The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are the heart of the EMGS. Special Interests Groups are collaborative structures where scientists from different backgrounds (academia, government, and industry) and career stages (students, new investigators, early and established career scientists) can meet and collaborate about a specific area of science related to the genome. SIG meetings at the annual meeting provide a space for free-from discussion and short presentations of the key challenges and current research. This is the place where students, new investigators and seasoned experts in the field will interact in an informal setting. The SIGs are also responsible for creating proposals for content for the symposia and keynote speakers for the annual meetings. In between annual meetings each SIG organizes Webinars and Online Workshops to keep the discussions going. SIGs collaborate regularly to create new viewpoints and connections. EMGS members can be involved with multiple SIGs and you do not have to be an expert at all, just interested.

To get involved with the SIGs become an EMGS Member.

Applied Genetic Toxicology SIG

The Applied Genetic Toxicology SIG is looking to gather people form a wide variety of backgrounds including pharmaceutics, consumer products, chemical products, food sciences and environmental researchers to discuss emerging science and regulatory issues that are highly relevant to applied genetic toxicology. We aim to provide a forum where members from industry, regulatory agencies and academia can meet to discuss common issues. SIG members and leadership will drive the annual agenda, focusing on key topics and issues that genetic toxicologists are currently facing. Partnering with other SIGs such as the Risk Assessment SIG we plan to help support EMGS strategic planning. We aim to accomplish our goals through a morning breakfast meeting and sponsorship of workshops at the annual meeting, along with periodic communications through the year to members.

DNA Repair & Mutagenic Mechanisms SIG

The DNA Repair Special Interest Group brings together EMGS members interested in DNA repair and related areas such as DNA damage, genomic instability, DNA damage responses, mutagensis and cell death pathways. At the EMGS Annual Meeting we meet for breakfast and informally discuss a topic of interest for the group. We also brainstorm about topics of symposia and keynote lectures for the next year’s EMGS meeting and representatives bring these ideas to the program committee meeting the last day of the meeting.

Epigenomics SIG

The mission of the Epigenomics Special Interest Group is to provide a place for EMGS members interested in epigenetics and epigenomics to discuss and share information. The epigenome is the dynamic regulatory framework that controls the use of genomic information during development and tissue differentiation and governs the response of cells, tissues, organs, and individuals to their environment. Epigenetic modifications occur without a change to the underlying DNA sequence, and yet they are mitotically and in some cases meiotically heritable. Epigenetic mechanisms include but are not limited to DNA modifications (primarily cytosine methylation) and post-translational histone tail modifications (the ‘histone code’). This SIG seeks to represent all aspects of epigenomics from the targeted scale (i.e. DNA methylation of imprinted genes) to the full scale (i.e., genome-wide changes in chromatin accessibility) with a particular emphasis on how chemical and non-chemical environmental exposures alter the epigenome, thus influencing phenotype, health, aging and disease.

The Genomics and Data Sciences SIG

The Genomics and Data Sciences SIG welcomes EMGS members who are broadly interested in using genomics, bioinformatics, computational biology and tools in related fields to investigate the impact of the environment on the genome. In the era of “big data”, and harnessing the momentum of the 50th Anniversary of EMGS to “protect the genome” (DeMarini), this new SIG seeks to examine and apply data-rich ‘omics’ methods and technologies to better understand the organization of the genome and how it functions and responds to environmental stresses, with the goal of improving human and environmental health. Use the File Library to post meeting agendas, reference files, minutes and reports. Committee members can access the materials via this page and view the materials or download them to their computer.

Germ Cell and Heritable Effects’ SIG

The Germ Cell and Heritable Effects SIG brings together experts undertaking research and regulation pertaining to impacts of human germ cell exposures to endogenous factors and xenobiotics. Our goals:

  • Discuss and debate methods to evaluate how endogenous and xenobiotic exposures, during critical windows of male and female germline development, can impact the reproductive potential of the exposed individual and the health of its offspring;
  • Expand understanding of mechanisms underlying adverse effects mediated through germ cells;
  • Catalyze the evolution of regulatory testing and risk assessment paradigms to address germ cell effects;
  • Provide a forum for discussion of policy implications and action needed.

Genotoxicity Risk Assessment and Public Health (GRAPH) SIG

The GRAPH SIG welcomes EMGS members interested in the mechanistic and applied aspects of genotoxicity assessment, particularly matters that can inform risk assessment, regulatory decision-making, and public health. This includes the assessment of causative and empirical associations between exposures and the risks of cancer, heritable genetic disorders and other health consequences of genetic or epigenetic interactions.

The objectives of the GRAPH SIG are to:

  • Improve communication and knowledge transfer of issues and concerns related to DNA damage and to DNA repair as it impacts levels and function of genomic damage.
  • Provide an open forum for EMGS members and scientists from industry, government, and academic research labs at all stages of their careers interested in discussions of genotoxicity assessment and how it can impact risk assessment, regulatory decision-making, and public health.
  • Provide guidance to industry and regulatory bodies for the application of genotoxicity data in support of risk assessment, including hazard identification and dose response assessment.
  • Discuss and integrate updated methods and applications from basic and applied research sectors for:
    • The detection of genomic effects associated with exposures to therapeutic products or to xenobiotics in air, water, soil, or food.
    • The development and validation of biomarkers of human exposure, susceptibility, and disease.
    • The development and application of genotoxicity assessment strategies for the evaluation of genotoxic risk.
    • Improved approaches for risk assessment in a real-world of low doses and multiple exposures.
  • Plan and host symposia and workshops at EMGS annual meetings for students and investigators to learn novel laboratory and analysis tools and approaches for assessing genotoxicity.

In Vivo Mutagenesis SIG

The In Vivo Mutagenesis (IVM) Special Interest Group (SIG) focuses on the development, validation and application of methods to assess mutagenicity in vivo, including laboratory animals and humans.  In the last two decades, the validated Transgenic Rodent Assay (eg. Big Blue® mouse and rat, Muta® Mouse) has facilitated the identification of in vivo mutations in somatic tissues and male germ cells.  More recently, the Pig-a endogenous mutation assay has been developed and is being widely used to assess mutant frequency in the blood of rodents, and has facilitated translation to humans.  With recent advancements in next generation sequencing (NGS) and epigenetics, powerful new tools are available to investigate alterations in DNA sequence, structure and gene expression in laboratory animals and humans. This promises to revolutionize how we assess genetic damage and understand mechanisms of action in order to improve the assessment of heritable diseases and cancer risk in humans.

Women in the EMGS

The Women in the EMGS (WEMGS) group focuses on women’s issues within the EMGS as well as broader issues that face many women in scientific careers.

The mission of WEMGS is to:

  • Create opportunities for networking and mentoring for women.
  • Encourage leadership and career development.
  • Encourage and support representation of women throughout the society and within the scientific community.

During the EMGS meetings, WEMGS provides a forum for discussions focusing on general issues that affect not only women but which are relevant to the general membership of the EMGS. We develop ideas for symposia and topics to be considered by the EMGS program committee for upcoming EMGS meetings.

If you are interested in becoming involved either as a committee member or would like to give your input into programming ideas for discussions or EMGS program ideas, we encourage any EMGS member to join the WEMGS special interest group. ALL are welcome to attend our meetings and WEMGS hosted EMGS meetings sessions!