Décember 2001

Belgian Society of Human Genetics

M Abramowicz, President
G Mortier, Secretary
F Kooy, Treasurer
W Courtens
K Dahan
K Devriendt
I Liebaers
L Van Maldergem

Dear colleagues, dear friends,

Next Annual Meeting and General Assembly : 22.02.2002, AZ-VUB

as previously announced.
Deadline for abstract submission and for registration is 31.12.2001.
lease send your registration, and abstract, to Pascale.Milants@az.vub.ac.be

Satellite symposium Saturday morning 23.02.2002 : "The State of the art of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)". The V.U.B. team welcomes all members of the Society to participate in the symposium and the anniversary reception.

Membership 2002

Do not forget to renew your membership before 31.12.2001, as this will not be done automatically. The discount for membership+meeting fee will not be available after 31.12.2001. Please follow the instructions already sent in the 2002 Meeting Announcement mail. In short, send your bank transfer to the order of : BeSHG, to the account : 001-3427646-33, 25€ for membership, or 35€ for membership + meeting, and as communication indicate the name of the member .

According to the BeSHG statutes, four new positions in the board become open, thus four new board members need to be elected during the next General Assembly. Candidates should send their application to marcabra@ulb.ac.be before 31.12.2001.

Workgroup on training and accreditation

As we mentioned in our June 2001 Newsletter, we should prepare for medical genetics to become a recognized specialty in Belgium, with European equivalence. Beyond training in clinical genetics, other issues should be addressed like accreditation of laboratories, coordination with other specialties, etc.

The BeSHG will now foster a working group on training and accreditation. At some point this group should give its advice to the High Counsil for Human Genetics. If you want to take part in this workgroup, please contact marcabra@ulb.ac.be or Koen.Devriendt@med.kuleuven.ac.be. A first meeting will be organized, and the workgroup will then have to choose a Chairman and a Secretary within its members.


Yes, construction of www.BeSHG.be is one of our priorities. As you see, we already have a name. We are looking for someone who would be willing to help us create the site, and perhaps update it later on a regular basis, for a reasonable fee. This is a call to find a webmaster within our members. Are you interested ? Please let us know at marcabra@ulb.ac.be. In case you would prefer to send us a regular mail, you are probably not the webmaster we need…

European Report on Ethical, legal and social implications of Human Genetics

There was great concern last month in the ESHG and many national SHGs about the Report of a temporary committee on ethical, legal, economic and social implications of human genetics (Reporter : Francesco Fiori) due in Brussels' European Parliament. The vast majority of human geneticists considered this report too conservative and restrictive, with many recommendations aimed at prohibiting research and curbing medical practice. The ESHG proposed a number of changes (see: www.eshg.org). The BeSHG sent a letter on 13 November 2001 to Nicole Fontaine, President, to urge the European Parliament not to make decisions that would hamper research in these fields. To our relief, the Fiori report was rejected by a very large majority of Eurodeputies on 28.11.2001.

Informations of Interest

Prof Hans Galjaard (Rotterdam) will lecture in Brussels on the occasion of Prof Esther Vamos farewell on Monday 28 January 2002. Venue at the Musée de la Médecine, Campus Hôpital Erasme, 808 Lennik, B-1070 Brussels, at 6 pm.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !


Geert Mortier
Marc Abramowicz