Awards & Grants

Audrey Heimler Special Project Award

The Audrey Heimler Special Project Award (AHSPA) provides an annual award of $10,000 to one or more genetic counselors for a project(s) that focuses on the future of the genetic counseling profession and/or the provision of genetic services.  Past projects have included resources for genetic counselors to use with patients, research to help advance the profession and innovative continuing education resources for genetic counselors in current practice.

Projects are reviewed on the basis of their merit and strength as well as on their vision of the future of the profession. Applicants must be members in good standing of NSGC.

About Audrey Heimler

3. Audrey Heimler Picture.png

Audrey has had a long and distinguished history of leadership in NSGC and in the genetic counseling profession. Audrey graduated in 1971 from Sarah Lawrence College, the first genetic counseling graduate program in the United States. She went on to help establish the National Society of Genetic Counselors, serving as a member of the founding Board and being elected as NSGC’s first president. Audrey’s pivotal role in NSGC continued over many years. In 1989, a donation to NSGC established the Audrey Heimler Special Project Award (AHSPA) in her honor, in recognition of Audrey's leading role in promoting the profession of genetic counseling and in establishing NSGC as the professional organization for genetic counselors.  Audrey was awarded NSGC’s highest professional honor, the Natalie Weissberger Paul National Achievement Award in 1998, and was instrumental in establishing the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF).  

Early on, Audrey set standards for the practice of genetic counseling, she trained and served as a role model for the next generation of counselors, advocating for the integration of genetics into healthcare. Audrey contributed to the genetic counseling literature, authoring many publications on Huntington disease, various psychosocial aspects of genetic counseling.  In 1991, one of these publications identified a syndrome later named Heimler syndrome in recognition of her discovery.

In May 2019, Audrey Heimler was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Public Health degree by the University of South Florida.

Donate to AHSPA!

Your donation to AHSPA will provide support for innovative projects that advance the genetic counseling profession. 

Donate To AHSPA

To donate by mail (check payment only), please download and complete a donation form by clicking here

*If you find the desired donation amount is not listed as an option, please contact the NSGC Executive Office at 312.321.6834 or at

Submit an AHSPA Application

Click here to submit an AHSPA application. To access the application, login with your NSGC credentials. Applications are due by 11:59 PM CT on Monday, May 17, 2021. Click here to review the application instructions and budget guidelines.


Click here to view AHSPA award recipients.

2020-2021 AHSPA Committee

  • Katie Wusik, Chair
  • Megan McKenna, Vice Chair
  • Megan D. Maxwell, Immediate Past Chair
  • Emily Fassi
  • Samuel Hyde
  • Sarah Spinette
  • Shannon Mulligan
  • Jodie Vento, NSGC Board Liaison 
NSGC Executive Office   |   330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611   |   312.321.6834   |
© 2021 National Society of Genetic Counselors   |   Privacy Policy   |   Disclaimer   |   Terms and Conditions   |   DMCA Procedures for Removal