The Robert A. Welch Outstanding Research Group/Committee Member of The Year recognizes the significant contributions of members of the ABRF Research Groups and Committees. It is awarded annually at the ABRF meeting. Nominations for the Award can be submitted by any ABRF member and the final selection is made by the ABRF Executive Board.
The ABRF Outstanding Research Group/ Committee Member of the Year Award was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding contributions to the society by ABRF members. In 2010 the award was dedicated to Robert A. Welch to honor his memory following his sudden death just after the ABRF 2008 meeting in Salt Lake City, UT.
Bob was the founding Director of Operations of the NCI Core Genotyping Facility (CGF). Bob joined the ABRF in 2002 and was a Waters Poster Award winner at ABRF 2003 with his poster "The National Cancer Institute's Core Genotyping Facility (CGF): Approaching a Gold Standard in Genotyping Assay Validation." He became a member of the Fragment Analysis Research Group (FARG) in 2006. He was a Chair in training during 2007 and had just been elected to Chair of FARG in 2008. At the ABRF 2008 meeting, with Chris Lytle, he presented: "What is Genotyping, and Why is the Definition Different for So Many Laboratories? Results from the FARG 2007 Survey". He was a driving force in the Joint DSRG/NARG/FARG joint project in 2007. "Study of DNA Variant Screening Strategies: A Joint Research Group Pilot Study". It was Bob's initiative which resulted in the renaming of the FARG to the Genetic Variation Research Group (GVRG). He was a dedicated, talented researcher and Core Facility Director and very active in ABRF activities, the quintessential ABRF RG/Com member. A tribute to Bob can be found in the ABRF Communications - Summer 2010 (pdf).