SEATTLE -- Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) co-founder and senior clinical geneticist Roger E. Stevenson, MD, has been honored with the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Foundation David L. Rimoin Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Genetics at the college’s annual meeting in Seattle.
A native of Neeses, Stevenson, is a 1962 graduate of Furman University and received his medical degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest, where as a medical student, he set up the school’s first chromosome lab and made a groundbreaking discovery about the risk of birth defects in mothers with PKU, a rare inherited metabolic disorder. He proceeded to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he completed a pediatric residency and research fellowship. It was there he studied under some of the giants of the emerging field of medical genetics and was a contemporary of the award’s namesake, Dr. David Rimoin.
While studying at Johns Hopkins, Stevenson met another research fellow, Harold Taylor, PhD, with whom he formed the Greenwood Genetic Center in 1974 with support from Greenwood businessman and philanthropist Jim Self and the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Since that time Stevenson has led the center to international acclaim in clinical services, diagnostic testing, research, and educational programs.
With special interests in intellectual disability, birth defects, and autism, Stevenson has contributed broadly to the field of medical genetics. He has published over 200 scientific papers, and numerous books, including the widely utilized reference text, “Human Malformations and Related Anomalies,” which he coauthored with the 2018 Rimoin honoree, Dr. Judith Hall. Along with GGC colleagues, he cowrote “The Atlas of X-Linked Intellectual Disability Syndromes,” and just last month released “Overgrowth Syndromes: A Clinical Guide.”
In 1978, he identified a rare genetic disorder that bears his name, Beare-Stevenson syndrome, and several other disorders. Over the past 20 years, he and GGC research colleagues have identified nearly one-third of all known genes on the X chromosome that lead to intellectual disability, making GGC the international authority in this area of medical genetics.