HOUSTON (April 23, 2013) - The Human Genome Meeting, a major international medical conference focusing on the human genome, will be held for the first time in the U.S. thanks to the efforts of Texas Medical Center and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau worked hand-in-hand with Texas Medical Center to secure this high profile medical conference," said GHCVB President and CEO Greg Ortale. "The Texas Medical Center is certainly unique with its concentration of medical, research, and educational institutions. Houston is the obvious location for health care professionals to gather, interact, and learn."

Organized by the Human Genome Organisation, the Human Genome Meeting will be held June 12-14, 2016 in Downtown Houston and is expected to draw approximately 1,000 physicians, health care professionals, and researchers from around the world. Launched several years ago to assist the Human Genome Project map the genome, the completion of that effort has allowed HGM to evolve into a mega scientific conference for all genetic and genomic researchers and a platform for industry partners, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical companies.

"Though the practice of medicine has always sought to personalize care and treatment of patients, the field of genomics generates so many possibilities in finding new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat illnesses in Americans, and people worldwide," said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., Texas Medical Center president and CEO. "Bringing the Human Genome Meeting to Houston means the Texas Medical Center will continue to be front and center in this exciting new field of medicine."

The Human Genome Meeting is part of a larger focus for the GHCVB in the life sciences. Earlier this year, the bureau announced a new medical meetings and tradeshows initiative in partnership with Texas Medical Center. The goal is to use the strengths of Texas Medical Center institutions and professionals to bring major medical and health care events from around the country, and around the world, to Houston. The Human Genome Meeting is precisely the kind of win the GHCVB and TMC hoped would result from the new partnership-bringing the medical world's attention to Houston.

"Tapping into the tremendous talent in the Texas Medical Center, we had strong support from many organizations. We were fortunate that Drs. Lynda Chin and Andy Futreal at the Department of Genomic Medicine of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, were able to take the time to make a personal appeal to the selection committee," said Robbins. "Without a doubt, the Human Genome Organisation selected Houston because of the leadership, interest, and focus on genomics occurring at multiple institutions in the Texas Medical Center."

"For Houston, our partnership with the member institutions of the Texas Medical Center represents more international meetings and more business, showing off our world class city," said Ortale. "For the Texas Medical Center, it means an elevated international profile in medicine and the ability to attract more talent from around the world."

This announcement represents the second major life science conference secured by the GHCVB in partnership with the Texas Medical Center this year. In February, the GHCVB and Texas Medical Center announced a new medical conference and tradeshow to take place annually in Houston beginning April 2014. Medical World Americas Conference and Expo will be the North American branch of German-based MEDICA, the largest medical tradeshow in the world.