GEORGIA M. DUNSTON, PhD, is Professor Emerita and former chair of the Department of Microbiology, Howard University College of Medicine; founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and former Director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC. Dr. Dunston received the BS degree in Biology from Norfolk State University; MS degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, and PhD degree in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. She did post‐doctoral work in Tumor Immunology at the NIH in the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, National Cancer Institute. She was founder and director of the Human Immunogenetics Laboratory at HU and has published extensively on genetic variation in human major histocompatibility complex antigen system and other common markers of disease susceptibility in African Americans. She served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Genetic Basis of Disease Review Committee for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Her research on human genome variation in disease susceptibility and health disparities has been the vanguard of efforts at Howard University to build national and international research collaborations focusing on the genetics of diseases common in African Americans and other African Diaspora populations. Under Dr. Dunston’s leadership, the NHGC was instrumental in bringing multicultural perspectives and resources to an understanding of knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project and research on human genome variation. She currently co‐leads a biophysics research and interdisciplinary development group (BRIDG) formed in the NHGC 2nd decade that is exploring functional aspects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), common variation and population genetics from first principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics (i.e., “genodynamics”). Her passion is building community‐academic research partnerships that connect the African Diaspora to the global genome revolution in knowledge on human identity in precision medicine and population health. Her research agenda for ‘NexGen Genomics’ addresses the power of genome variation and population diversity for probing the biology of health disparities in achieving the U.S. Public Health Service goals of “Healthy People 2020”.
Dr. Georgia M. Dunston retired from Howard University in 2017. Now as Professor Emerita she continues to collaborate with HU colleagues, investigators, and collaborators in advancing the research mission of the NHGC. The major focus of her time and attention now as founder, president, and CEO of Whole Genome Science (WGS) Foundation, Inc., is involved in establishing partnership with Howard University in building 'Collaborative Community-Academic Research Education (CARE) Empowered Partnerships to advance the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) of the human genome, as an institutional initiative.