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The first quarter of this year has brought many a change to the Fragment Analysis Research Group (FARG). After a successful FARG poster and research group presentation at the annual ABRF Symposium in Salt Lake City earlier this year, Bob Welch, the FARG’s new chairman, was poised to take the group in a new direction. Bob proposed to redefine the focus of the group and direct its research efforts to reflect the current changes happening with genotyping technologies and studies in this new genomic era. Tragically, however, Bob passed away suddenly, an event which shocked and saddened us all. We will remember Bob as a great scientist and an enthusiastic leader. He was also a wonderful family man and a very caring and giving person. Those of us who knew Bob will truly miss him very much.
Not wanting to let Bob’s vision for FARG go, the group has forged ahead with Bob’s visions, concepts, and ideas. Christian Lytle, last year’s FARG chairman, was re-selected to chair the group in Bob’s place. The FARG has redefined its mission as an ABRF research group and posted its new mission statement on its Web page (http://abrf.org/index.cfm/group.show/FragmentAnalysis.40.htm). Along with a new mission, the FARG also wanted to update its name to better reflect the current state of genotyping. Thus, we proposed the name Genomic Variation Research Group (GVRG) to the ABRF Executive Board. The name change and new mission was approved by the EB and we are now officially using our new name.
The GVRG is also very pleased to welcome two new members to the group, Amy Hutchinson of SAIC-Frederick, Inc., NCI, DCEG, and Brian Sanderson of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. There are several other people who have expressed interest in joining the GVRG, and we expect the group to grow more very soon.