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Faculty

 

Leadership

catherine-wicklund

Catherine A. Wicklund, MS, CGC

Director, Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Genetic Medicine

Cathy Wicklund received her bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a master of science degree in genetic counseling from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at the University of Texas Graduate School in Biomedical Sciences at Houston in 1993. Cathy received her board certification from ABGC in 1996.

After graduation, Cathy worked in prenatal and pediatrics at Cooper Hospital in New Jersey. She joined the University of Texas Medical School-Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences in 1996 where she was the director of Prenatal Genetic Counseling Services. In addition, she was the co-director of the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at the University of Texas. During her time at the University of Texas she was involved in program administration, designing and coordination of the curriculum, clinical rotations, supervision and was a thesis advisor or committee member on several students’ thesis research projects. After 10 years at the University of Texas she joined the Northwestern Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling as the associate director in 2006 and became director in August of 2007. In addition, she currently provides prenatal genetic counseling services in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Cathy is also very active in the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She chaired various educational committees for the Annual Education Conferences (AEC) and co-chaired the 2005 AEC. She served on the Board of Directors, first as Region V Representative, then as Secretary and was President in 2007. As a leader in NSGC she has represented the organization at several national meetings including the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Collaborative Research Meeting and the National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute Physician Assistants and Genomic Medicine Meeting. She has also been active in the American Society of Human Genetics, serving on the abstract committee, program committee and represented ASHG on the scientific program committee for the 2016 International Congress of Human Genetics.

She has continued to participate on a national level contributing to discussions on genomics and precision medicine. She most recently completed her term as an appointed member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Hereditable Disorders in Newborns and Children. She is the NSGC representative on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health and most recently has been appointed to the Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Council. She also serves on several advisory boards/committees for various initiatives including graduate education, innovative genomic services, newborn screening and early childhood screening. She is also active on a state level, working with the Illinois Department of Public Health on genetics education and finance and reimbursement issues, and just completed her term as a member of the Genetic and Metabolic Diseases Advisory Committee.

Cathy’s research interests include issues regarding genomics and precision medicine including implementation, health inequities and education. In addition, she is interested in psychosocial and counseling issues, outcomes in genetic counseling, and professional issues including access to and delivery of genetic services. She works with the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, which aims to bring personalized medicine into broader clinical use and has been involved in the All of Us initiative both at Northwestern University and on a national level.

As director of the program, she works closely with the associate director, medical director and assistant directors on all aspects of the program including administration, overall curriculum and clinical development, rotations, and thesis development.

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debra-duquette

Debra Duquette, MS, CGC

Associate Director, Associate Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and Center for Genetic Medicine

Debra Duquette received her Bachelor of Science degree in biological science and secondary education from Michigan State University. She was in the first class of graduates that received a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1992. She received her board certification from ABGC in 1993.

After graduation, Debra worked in clinical reproductive genetics for 12 years at Michigan health systems (Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Hutzel Hospital/Detroit Medical Center, and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids). During her time at Hutzel Hospital, she was the clinical facility leaders on a National Institute of Health study that compared early amniocentesis to late chorionic villus sampling. She was also involved in the early pioneering of fetal surgeries/interventions for fetal anomalies and genetic conditions. At Hutzel Hospital and Spectrum Heath, she coordinated and supervised clinical rotations for medical students, residents, fellow and genetic counseling graduate students. She was also an adjunct faculty member of Wayne State University School of Medicine. Debra has co-authored peer-reviewed articles on a variety of reproductive genetics topics.

Ms. Duquette also worked for 13 years in state public health. From 2004-2017, Deb led the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Genomics Program. She served as the State Public Health Genomics Coordinator, Director of the Cancer Genomics Program, Coordinator of the Michigan Alliance of Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young, Chair of the Lynch Syndrome Screening Network, and Facilitator of the Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance. MDHHS was awarded five Centers for Disease Control & Prevention cooperative agreements to integrate genomics best practices into public health utilizing surveillance data, education, and policy. She managed over $5 million of awarded CDC funding.

She also led development of new MDHHS programs for newborn screening including the Michigan BioTrust for Health and Diet for Life. She was co-editor for Healthcare’s Public Health Genomics supplement, and authored several peer-reviewed articles on cancer genomics, sudden cardiac death of the young, and other public health genomics topics. She has supervised and mentored several public health internships and thesis projects for genetic counseling graduate students, public health graduate students, cardiology residents and fellow, and preventive medicine residents. She also was appointed to multiple state and national committees, including co-chair of the National Academy of Medicine Genomics and Population Health Action Collaborative and member of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on the State of the Science in Ovarian Cancer Research. Debra currently serves as the Executive Director of the Lynch Syndrome Screening Network (LSSN), Advisory Board Member for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), Steering Committee Member for the FORCE-CDC Cooperative Agreement eXamining Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS), and a Medical/Scientific Advisory Board Member of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC).

In August 2017, she joined as the Associate Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine’s Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is interested in bringing together her work in public health genomics and health inequities to increase access to genetic counseling especially for disparate populations. She is also interested in developing new models and metrics for clinical genetic counseling delivery. Her research interests include prevention of sudden cardiac death of the young, universal/routine and cascade screening for hereditary cancers, preventive medicine and genetics, health disparities, and implementation of genomics and to improve health outcomes. As associate director of the program, she works closely with the director, medical director and assistant directors on administration, overall curriculum and clinical development, clinical rotations, and thesis development.

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annie-bao

Annie Bao, MS, LMFT

Marriage and Family Therapist, Core Faculty, Psychosocial Course Instructor and Community Outreach

Annie Bao is a licensed marriage and family therapist, instructor, healthcare consultant, behavioral analyst, and writer. She received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, Biology, and Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington and her Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Northwestern University in 2009. In 2011, she became a licensed in marriage and family therapist following her training at Northwestern University’s Family Institute, The Family Therapy Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the Chicago Center for Family Health, in affiliation with the University of Chicago.

During her time at Virginia Tech, Annie was responsible for undergraduate education in the department of Human Development and Family Studies and supervising graduates pursuing their degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her fellowship at the University of Chicago included educating and training family medicine residents to become proficient in the psychosocial skills of their practice, consulting family medicine faculty in specialty clinics, and attending to providers’ mental health and wellness. Annie has worked in multiple levels of collaborative healthcare systems as a therapeutic referral resource, behavioral specialist, family medicine in-house therapist, psychosocial healthcare consultant, and family medicine residency psychosocial educator/preceptor.

Her clinical practice interests and expertise include sex therapy, loss and grief work, resilience in trauma, premarital/marital conflict resolution, boundary management, and integrative/collaborative medical family therapy. She also provides education,15 consultation, and support services for healthcare providers in the areas of empathy practices, self-care, clinical burnout/compassion fatigue, collaboration, and issues in supervision. Additionally, she is an individual clinical supervisor for Northwestern University MSMFT graduate students at the Family Institute. Her memberships with the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), and the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT), have included board work, task force engagement, conference planning, and strategic planning and execution.

Annie’s research interests and publications include grief and loss, family resilience, human sexuality, sexual health, HIV/AIDS education, depression in couples, boundary ambiguity, psychotherapeutic boundaries, provider uses of humor, kinship care, self-care, collaborative healthcare practices, clinical supervision, and the systemic psychosocial impact of illness, disease, and diagnosis.

Annie is the manager and primary instructor of the Psychosocial Coursework for the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling. In addition, she is a thesis advisor and thesis committee member of several graduate student research projects. Annie is also actively involved on the leadership team, in Admissions, and other program activities and specifically leads community engagement activities for the program.

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jeffrey-dungan

Jeffrey Dungan, MD, FACOG, FACMG

Medical Director , Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Jeffrey Dungan is an associate professor in the Division of Reproductive Genetics in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and clinical genetics, his clinical expertise and research interests are in prenatal diagnosis, genetic screening and ultrasonography. He is also keenly interested in student and resident education, having served as the clerkship director at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. As medical director, Dr. Dungan is involved in multiple areas of the graduate program, including student supervision and research, the Research Oversight Committee, the Advisory Committee, and the Admissions Committee. He also lectures in several courses.

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christin-hoell

Christin Hoell, MS, CGC

Senior Graduate Program Educator, Assistant Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Genetic Medicine

Christin (Christie) Hoell received her Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics and certificates in Women’s Studies and Classics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and her board certification from ABGC in 2011.

She started her career as a prenatal genetic counselor at NorthShore University HealthSystem in the Center for Maternal and Fetal Health. Christie then moved to Northwestern University as the program manager for the third phase of Northwestern’s eMERGE (electronic medical records and genomics) Project, overseeing participant recruitment and the return of genomic sequencing results. She continues her work with eMERGE as it enters into phase four, collaborating with a multidisciplinary team to develop a recruitment and return of results app for Northwestern eMERGE participants.

Christie is an active member of NSGC. She has served as Chair of the Membership Committee, Chair of the Professional Status Survey Subcommittee, Chair of the Leadership Awards Subcommittee, a member of the Board of Directors Nominating Committee, and a member of the Genetic Counselor SARS-CoV2 Impact Survey task force. On a local level, she is involved with the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals, having served on the board as Secretary and President. She is also a member of the Epic, Inc. Genetics and Genomics Steering Board.

Christie has been a faculty member with the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling since she graduated, serving as a rotation supervisor, and thesis advisor and committee member. She joined the program leadership in 2020 as a Senior Graduate Program Educator.  Christie is the co-coordinator of the Genetic Counseling Skills Practicum and Introduction to Genetic Counseling courses, in addition to serving on multiple program committees, including admissions.

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Faculty

liana-abramson

Liana Abramson, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Liana graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2019 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2019. She started her career as a prenatal genetic counselor with the Center for Maternal and Fetal Health at NorthShore Evanston Hospital. There, she was also involved with the IDPH newborn screening program for cystic fibrosis, providing genetic counseling and relevant educational presentations. Liana is currently practicing as a prenatal genetic counselor with the Advocate Illinois Masonic Antenatal Resource Center team. She supervises genetic counseling students through the Northwestern program and is a member of National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals.

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aishwarya-arjunan

Aishwarya Arjunan, MS, MPH, CGC, CPH

Clinical Product Manager, Carrier Screening, Myriad Women's Health

Aishwarya Arjunan graduated with degrees in genetic counseling and public health genetics from the the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2014. She currently works at Myriad Women's Health (formerly Counsyl), a women's health genetic testing and genetic counseling company, as the Clinical Product Manager for the Foresight Carrier Screen. Prior to joining Counsyl/Myriad, Aishwarya was a clinical genetic counselor at the Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics and Ann & Robert H Lurie Children?s Hospital in the Department of Genetics, Birth Defects, and Metabolism. Within the Northwestern Genetic Counseling Program, Aishwarya is a core faculty member and serves as a thesis advisor/committee member and has participated in the Admissions Committee and Internet Resources Task Force. Aishwarya is actively involved with the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) as the 2019 co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and incoming Director At Large for the NSGC Board of Directors. She is also involved locally with the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP) and is a past-president of ISGP.

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sharon-aufox

Sharon Aufox, MS CGC

Genetic Counselor / Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

Sharon graduated with a Master of Science degree in Human Genetics from the Sarah Lawrence Genetic Counseling Program in 1996. Sharon worked as a prenatal and pediatric genetic counselor as well as a laboratory genetic counselor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC from 1996-2000. Originally from Illinois, Sharon returned to the Chicago area as a prenatal genetic counselor working for Rockford Memorial Hospital in their Hoffman Estates and Elgin satellite clinics from 2000-2002. Since 2002, Sharon has worked at Northwestern on a DNA Biobank, called the NUgene Project, where she is in charge of recruitment, regulatory issues, and quality control of the data collected. She currently serves on Northwestern's and Lurie Children's Institutional Review Boards. Additionally, she works on a NIH cooperative grant (The Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (aka The eMERGE Network), designing and executing protocols involving the incorporation of genomic information into clinical care. Sharon is actively involved in both the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), and serves on several committees and task forces. She is a past- president of ABGC and past chair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors' Research Special Interest Group, which focuses on the roles that genetic counselors can have in all aspects of clinical genetic research. Within the Graduate Program, she helps facilitate the Research Methods course, serves on several committees, and has serves as a thesis advisor and/or committee member on several students' research projects each year.

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lara-balay

Lara Balay, MS Ed, MS CGC

Genetic Counselor, University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

Lara Balay graduated from the Northwestern Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and was certified by ABGC in 2014. Prior to this she received a Masters in Secondary Science Education during her time as a biology and health teacher in New York. She is currently working at the UI Health Hereditary Cancer Clinic at University of Illinois- Chicago providing genetic counseling services. Lara is also a Vice Chair of the UIC Health and Biological Sciences IRB board, participates in developing and running clinical genetic research studies in the UIC Cancer Center, and lectures for the UIC fellow and medical students. She is actively involved with the Northwestern Genetic Counseling Program by providing guest lectures, serves as a thesis adviser and committee member, providing clinical supervisor, and being a member of Northwestern's Program Development committee.

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kelly-bontempo

Kelly Bontempo MS CGC

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Children's Hospital & Lutheran General Hospital

Kelly Bontempo graduated from the genetic counseling program at Northwestern University in 2012 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling the same year. Kelly is a pediatric genetic counselor with Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, and also provides adult, oncology and prenatal services as needed. She has special interest in connective tissue disorders, newborn screening, inborn errors of metabolism, imprinting disorders, and rare disease discovery. Kelly is actively involved in education as core faculty with Northwestern's GPGC, as well as in working with medical students, residents and fellows. Kelly served as President of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals in 2017, is a member of the program's Internet Resources Task Force, and has been an item writer for the ABGC Board Exam. Kelly's interest in nutrition and its effect on complex, multi-factorial disorders led her to pursue a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell in 2015.

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casey-brew

Casey Brew, MS, CGC

Laboratory Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

Casey Brew graduated from the genetic counseling program at Northwestern in 2017 and became board certified and licensed in the state of Illinois in the same year. She started her career at Rush University Medical Center working as a clinical pediatric and adult cardiology genetic counselor. As of 2018, Casey began working as a variant interpretation counselor at Lurie Children’s Hospital in their Molecular Diagnostics lab. She also sees patients in their Heart Failure clinic for indications of cardiomyopathy. Casey supervises genetic counseling students in rotations and is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals.

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katya-brossart

A. Katya Brossart, MS, LCGC

Medical Science Liaison (Organ Health), Natera, Inc.

Katya Brossart graduated from the University of Michigan Genetic Counseling Program in 2012. As a Medical Science Liaison for Natera, Inc., she provides medical education to healthcare providers regarding offerings in the Organ Health division, including donor-derived cfDNA screening for kidney transplant rejection and genetic testing for heritable renal conditions. Prior to that, Katya was a clinical genetic counselor at the Advocate Illinois Masonic (AIMMC) Antenatal Resource Center, where she provided genetic counseling for prenatal and preconception indications, supervised Northwestern genetic counseling students and was actively involved in genetics education for the AIMMC OB/GYN residency training program.

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jordan-brown

Jordan Brown, MA, MS, LGC

Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University

Jordan an Assistant Professor with appointments in the Division of Human Genetics and the Division of Bioethics at The Ohio State University. As Assistant Director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program at OSU, she participates as a course director, thesis committee member, and in program administration. In addition to this role, Jordan also sees patients in gynecologic oncology. She earned a BA in History at George Mason University in 2015, and received her MS in Genetic Counseling in 2017 and MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities in 2020 from Northwestern University. Her primary research interests include genetic testing and data-sharing in vulnerable populations. Before coming to OSU, Jordan worked as a laboratory genetic counselor at Johns Hopkins University, where she was responsible for exome analysis, variant interpretation, and test development. She participates as adjunct faculty for the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling. Jordan is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and serves on the Public Policy Committee. She is also the founding president (now past-president) of the Maryland and DC Society of Genetic Counselors and has been involved in licensure efforts within the state of Maryland. In her free time, Jordan enjoys running, reading, and playing with her dog, Kona.

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jessica-bucher

Jessica Bucher, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Independent Contractor

Jessica Bucher, MS, CGC, graduated from the Northwestern University Genetic Counseling Program in 2010 and was certified by the ABGC in 2010. Jessica is primarily a pediatric and rare disease genetic counselor. She is a contributing faculty member for the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University. She supervises students rotating through through the program. Jessica has an interest in Connective Tissue Disorders and remains involved with The Marfan Foundation. Jessica is currently an independent contractor working with various start-up companies.

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kelly-burgess

Kelly Burgess, MS, CGC

Genomic Science Liaison, Ambry Genetics

Kelly Burgess graduated from the genetic counseling program at Wayne State University in 2014 and was certified by the ABGC in February of 2015. After working in clinic as a cancer genetic counselor for over 5 1/2 years at Rush University Medical Center seeing adult patients, Kelly went to work for Ambry Genetics as a Genomic Science Liaison (GSL) in February 2020. As a GSL, Kelly provides clinical support to healthcare providers ordering cancer genetic testing through Ambry, as well as internal clinical education.

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lisa-castillo

Lisa Dellefave-Castillo, MS, CGC

Assistant Professor, Genetic Counselor, Northwestern University

Lisa has been working in Cardiovascular Genetics since 2006. She sees patients clinically through the Department of Cardiology, Feinberg School of Medicine. She also has a strong research focus through the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University.

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joel-charrow

Joel Charrow, MD, FACMG

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, FSM and Lurie Children's

Dr. Joel Charrow is a Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Director of the Division of Genetics, Birth Defects and Metabolism, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where he has directed the clinical program and diagnostic laboratory since 1981. Board certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics, he has a wealth of experience in genetic counseling and carrier screening for genetic disorders. He has published numerous articles, reviews and book chapters on various areas of pediatric and general genetics, with a particular focus in neurofibromatosis, Jewish genetic disorders, and lysosomal storage diseases.

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sara-cherny

Sara Cherny MS CGC

Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

Sara Cherny graduated with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota in 2007, and obtained certification as a genetic counselor in the state of Illinois in 2009. She has diverse clinical experience, including pediatric, adult, prenatal, neurology, and cardiovascular genetics. Sara currently practices in the Cardiovascular Genetics Clinic at Lurie Children's Hospital and contributes to research in inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies. Her leadership and advocacy contributions include the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals, the Cardiovascular SIG of the NSGC, and the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiological Society (PACES). Sara is an invited reviewer for the Journal of Genetic Counseling and Cardiology in the Young. She is happy to have the opportunity to supervise and educate rotating genetic counseling students, medical students, and residents.

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katie-cobian

Katie Cobian, MS, CGC

Pediatric Genetic Counselor , University of Illinois- Chicago

Katie graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 before enrolling in Northwestern University’s Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and graduating in 2018 with a master’s degree. She currently works as a Pediatric Genetic Counselor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, providing genetic counseling services to individuals and families affected by pediatric and adult onset conditions. In the coming year, she plans to serve as a clinical supervisor for genetic counseling graduate students.

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leighann-dacanay

Leighann Dacanay, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine West Region (Central Dupage and Delnor hospitals)

Leighann Dacanay graduated from the genetic counseling program at Indiana University in 2013 and was certified by the ABGC in the same year. She is currently a prenatal genetic counselor at Northwestern Medicine West Region (Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital). Leighann supervises students in clinical rotations and is a member of the Genetic Task Force of Illinois and National Society for Genetic Counselors.

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lenika-de-simone

Lenika De Simone, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

Lenika De Simone graduated with a degree in Human Biology at Stanford University in 2012 and a master’s degree in Physical Anthropology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2014. She joined Counsyl, a genetic testing company in South San Francisco, and worked as a genetic test billing specialist for 2 years. Lenika obtained her certification as a genetic counselor at Northwestern University in 2018. She has a diverse experience including pediatric, adult, and neuromuscular genetics, as well lab utilization and billing for genetic testing. She currently practices at Lurie Children's Hospital and contributes to the professional field through the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals and the Neurology SIG of the NSGC. Lenika enjoys supervising and educating prospective and current genetic counseling students.

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christine-drogan

Christine Drogan, MS

Genetic Counselor, University of Chicago Medical Center

Christine Drogan graduated from the genetic counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 and is currently studying for the certification exam. Christine is a cancer genetic counselor at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Hyde Park, primarily in the high-risk gastroenterology clinic, but also sees patients for general cancer risk at UCMC's South Loop clinic. She has special interest in pancreatic cancer, public health genetics and cascade testing. Christine is looking forward to becoming involved with Northwestern's Genetic Counseling Program in the future.

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taya-fallen

Taya Fallen

Chief Clinical Officer, Insight Medical Genetics, LLC

Taya Fallen graduated from the Graduate Program of Genetic Counseling at Northwestern in 2001, and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2002. She worked at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, from 2001-2002, providing prenatal, adult and cancer genetic counseling. Taya started the Cancer Genetics Program at Northwestern Medicine in 2002 and provided clinical cancer risk services there until March of 2016. She now works as Chief Clinical Officer for Insight Medical Genetics, a private practice genetic counseling and testing company with multiple locations in the Chicagoland area. Taya is actively involved with the Graduate Program of Genetic Counseling by co-moderating Medical Communication and teaching in the Adult Genetics curriculum. Taya also serves on several committees and task forces of the NUGPGC including the Faculty Review Committee, Program Development Committee, New Faculty Orientation Committee and the Curriculum Committee. In her free time, she enjoys running and gardening.

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rachel-full

Rachel Full, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Rachel Full earned her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2019. She works as a prenatal genetic counselor at NorthShore University Evanston Hospital. Rachel practices alongside maternal-fetal medicine physicians to provide care both prenatally and during the preconception period. She acts as a clinical supervisor for genetic counseling graduate students and assists in the education of medical students, residents, and fellows. Rachel is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals as well as an advocate for the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation.

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jamie-garman

Jamie Garman, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, GeneScreen

Jamie Garman received her master’s degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2017 and was certified by the ABGC in 2018. Prior to genetic counseling, Jamie was a California high school science teacher and science department chair. In 2017 Jamie enjoyed the role of a pediatric genetic counselor with Advocate Medical Group/Advocate Children’s Hospital in general genetics and multidisciplinary clinics. She helped create a genetic counseling clinic and founded the Genetic Counseling Volunteer program. Jamie took on the position of Genetic Counselor Coordinator and Faculty Member at Loyola Medicine in 2019. She oversees the genetic counseling program in the Obstetrics & Gynecology department in the Maternal Fetal Medicine division, manages grants and provides education to residents and Maternal Fetal Medicine fellows. Jamie shifted to a genetic counseling role with GeneScreen to help improve genetic counseling access for patients seeking prenatal, reproductive and cancer genetic counseling services in 2021. As a member of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP) Community Outreach and Professional Education Committee Chair, advocacy committee member and National Organization for Rare Disorders volunteer, Jamie advocates on a state and national level for the genetic counseling profession and the rare disease community.

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elizabeth-gelfman

Elizabeth Gelfman, MMSc, CGC

Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Elizabeth Gelfman graduated with a Master of Medical Science degree in Human Genetics & Genetic Counseling from Emory University's program in May 2016 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) in August 2016. Originally from Illinois, Elizabeth returned to the Chicago area in June 2016 as a pediatric genetic counselor at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. She currently works for NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL primarily as a cancer genetic counselor. She is also involved in various research studies at NorthShore, including disclosure of research results to participants in their Genomic Health Initiative biobank. Within the Northwestern Genetic Counseling Program, Elizabeth serves as instructor of the Patient Resistance and Adherence lecture, facilitator of the Familial Hyperlipidemia PBL, and member of the Admission Committee. She is also actively involved with the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).

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jackie-herigodt

Jackie Herigodt

Director of Programs and Outreach, Imerman Angels

Jackie has been a caregiver to several loved ones with cancer including her mother, who lost her battle with lung cancer in 2004. These experiences fuel her passion for the Imerman Angels' mission. Jackie has been with Imerman Angels since 2012. In her current role as Director of Programs and Outreach, she oversees the Mentor Angel training process, the matches made between Mentor Angels and support seekers and the organization's outreach efforts. Jackie was responsible for the creation of the outreach initiative at Imerman Angels. This program has helped strengthen partnerships with other cancer organizations and cancer centers to better serve more people who have been impacted by cancer. Additionally, she established the global Ambassador initiative, made up of volunteers who dedicate their time to spreading awareness about the Imerman Angels mission and pursuing partnership opportunities to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. Jackie graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has worked in the fields of animal training, customer service and education. Her diverse background has proven to be beneficial for her role with Imerman Angels.

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megan-hinton

Megan Hinton, MS, CGC

Assistant Professor and Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine

Megan Hinton received her master’s degree from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University in 2000, and was certified by the ABGC in 2002. She currently holds assistant professor faculty appointments at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Center for Genetic Medicine. Megan serves on several committees of the NUGPGC including the Admission Committee and the Accreditation Application Review Committee. Megan is past-president of the Genetic Task Force of Illinois and is active in the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling serving as a site-visitor. Megan has also been active in the National Society of Genetic Counselors, participating in the Abstract Committee and Regional Conference Planning Committee, and previously as the Illinois State representative. She has been a prenatal genetic counselor in the Division of Clinical Genetics at Northwestern Medicine since 2001 where she provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students, medical students and maternal fetal medicine fellows.

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megan-horn

Megan Horn, MS, MA, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Insight Medical Genetics

Megan received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling and her Master of Arts degree in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University in January 2018 and was certified by ABGC in February 2018. She currently works as a cancer, preconception, and prenatal genetic counselor at Insight Medical Genetics, a private genetic counseling company located in downtown Chicago and the surrounding Chicago suburbs. Megan's involvement with the NUGCGP includes supervising genetic counseling students and she is currently a member of the Northwestern Mental Health and Wellness Task Force.

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melissa-hsu

Melissa Hsu, MS, CGC

Laboratory Genetic Counselor, Baylor Genetics

Melissa Hsu graduated Northwestern University's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2009, and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2010. She has worked with several institutions as a clinical prenatal genetic counselor, and participated on various committees and programs with each, including fetal care centers and leading an OB Resident genetics curriculum. She currently serves on the board of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals, and is a past chair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors Prenatal Special Interest Group. Melissa serves as a thesis adviser and lecturer, and has contributed as a clinical rotation supervisor and on several task forces within the program. Melissa currently works as a Laboratory Genetic Counselor with Baylor Genetics.

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kristen-hughes

Kristen Hughes, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Kristen graduated with a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2018. She is employed as a clinical genetic counselor at the Center for Medical Genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, where she primarily provides genetic counseling to adults diagnosed with or at risk for various conditions, including hereditary cancer syndromes. She is also involved in various research studies at NorthShore, including disclosure of research results to participants in their Genomic Health Initiative biobank. Kristen is a member of NSGC and is active on several committees of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals. She is a clinical supervisor for the Northwestern Graduate Program for Genetic Counseling and greatly enjoys the opportunity to work with current students.

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alexander-ing

Alexander Ing MS CGC

Genetic Counselor , Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Alexander Ing graduated from the Boston University Genetic Counseling program in 2015. He previously worked at the Partners HealthCare Laboratory for Molecular Medicine as a laboratory genetic counselor, as well as a pediatric pulmonary genetic counselor at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He is currently a laboratory genetic counselor at the Center for Genomics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. In addition, he also serves as a clinical genetic counselor at Lurie as part of the Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) Center of Excellence specialty program. He is an active member of the NIH funded ClinGen and ClinVar resources. He serves as the co-coordinator for the Laboratory Course as well as a rotation supervisor and student thesis advisor.

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Ismam Islam, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Mercy Hospital - St. Louis

Ismam graduated with a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2019, and was certified by the ABGC in 2020. He is currently practicing at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He practices in preconception, prenatal, and cancer genetics. Additionally, provides genetic counseling services via telemedicine for patients in Missouri and Illinois. He enjoys serving as a thesis committee member to graduate students and supervising students in clinical rotations. He is a member of the NUGPGC Mental Health & Wellness Task Force and the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

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Sarah A. Jackson, MS, CGC

Clinical Genomics Scientist , Invitae

Sarah Jackson is a Clinical Genomics Scientist at Invitae, specializing in hereditary cancer susceptibility with particular expertise in hematologic malignancies. She is an active member of the ClinGen Myeloid Malignancy Variant Curation Expert Panel. Sarah earned her master?s degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 and has 17 years of experience in cancer genetics, five of which have been within the laboratory setting. Previously, Sarah was a Lead Genetic Counselor at GeneDx, an Assistant Professor of medicine at Northwestern University where she last served in the clinical setting, and had also served as the Assistant Director of Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago where counseled some of the first families identified with hereditary hematologic malignancies.

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carey-jamrogowicz

Carey Sentman Jamrogowicz, CGC

Genetic Counselor , Advocate Aurora Health

Carey graduated with her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2018. She is currently finishing her Master of Arts degree in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from Northwestern University. Since graduation, Carey has served a dual role at Advocate Aurora Health, primarily as a laboratory genetic counselor based in cytogenetics at ACL Laboratories. At ACL she provides utilization management and support for clinical providers for cytogenetic, molecular, and referral testing. As part of her role, Carey also sees prenatal, pediatric, and adult patients at Advocate Medical Group (Lutheran General Hospital). She supervises students at ACL for lab rotations and at Lutheran General for clinical rotations.

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Amy Knight Johnson, MS CGC

Clinical Genomics Scientist, Invitae

Amy Knight Johnson received her master's degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2010 and was certified by ABGC the same year. She has experience in both clinical and laboratory genetic counseling, including prior roles at Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago Genetic Services Laboratories. She is currently a Clinical Genomics Scientist at Invitae with the Omics Development team, where she is involved in development of new product offerings and interpretation of exome sequencing cases. Amy previously coordinated the Laboratory Course for the Graduate Program from 2015-2018, and now continues to teach classes on molecular genetics for the Principles of Medical Genetics I course.

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Madelyn Katz, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Illinois Masonic

Madelyn graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2018. She is currently a reproductive genetic counselor at the Antenatal Resource Center at Advocate Illinois Masonic. Madelyn supervises Northwestern genetic counseling students and is involved in developing and presenting the Genetics Lecture Series for OB/GYNE residents at IL Masnoic.

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lisa-kinsley

Lisa Kinsley, MS, CGC

Senior Genetic Counselor for Neurology, Northwestern University

Lisa Kinsley graduated from the genetic counseling program at Northwestern University in 2009 and was certified by the ABGC in 2010. She provides research and clinical support to the Neurology department of Northwestern Medicine. As a research counselor, she enrolls patients in studies, coordinates testing, and gathers family histories. She provides clinical counseling for the MDA, ALS, Alzheimer's Disease Center, Women's Neurology/Epilepsy, and Movement Disorders genetic clinics (Huntington's disease, Wilson’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease). She also works with researchers and clinicians in regular case conferences for epilepsy and movement disorders to provide testing and counseling support, and has started a Neurogenetic Counseling clinic. She supervises students in Northwestern's neurology rotation, lectures for the program, and advises students’ thesis projects.

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shelby-koenig

Shelby Koenig, MS, CGC

Genetic counselor, Insight Medical Genetics

Shelby received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2017. She currently works as a prenatal genetic counselor at Insight Medical Genetics in Chicago and works closely with Insight’s cytogenetics and molecular laboratories. She provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling students during their clinical rotations with Insight.

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terri-lefler

Terri K. Lefler, MS, CGC

Lead Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine

Terri graduated from the University of Michigan’s genetic counseling program in 1990 and was certified by ABGC in 1993. She has previously worked at Evanston Hospital (now NorthShore), The University of Chicago, and Adventist Hinsdale Hospital providing prenatal, and more recently, cancer genetic counseling. She began working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 2016 where she continues to work in both prenatal and cancer genetics. Before coming to Northwestern, she had acted as a clinical supervisor for summer rotations. Her current contributions to the training program include continuing to act as both a lead or contributing clinical supervisor for student rotations, as a facilitator for the Clinical Skills Practicum course.

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Amy A. Lemke, PhD, MS

Program Director, Outcomes Research, Personalized Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Amy Lemke received a MS degree in genetic counseling from the University of California - Berkeley and a PhD in public health, community health sciences, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Lemke is the Principal Investigator on a number of mixed-methods studies to assess the impact and outcomes of emerging genomic technologies and testing on patients, healthcare providers, and the public. She has past experience working as a genetic counselor in a variety of settings, and she has directed a number of funded projects to deliver genetic services to underserved communities. Dr. Lemke's research areas of interest include translational genomics and new technologies, measures to assess the impact of these technologies on key stakeholders, biorepository return of results models, and the role of stakeholder engagement in research, clinical practice, and policy development.

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Karen Lewis, MS, MM, CGC

Clinical Architect, AIM Specialty Health

Karen Lewis is the Clinical Architect for the Genetic Testing Solution for AIM Specialty Health® (AIM). In this role, she works closely with the Medical directors and business leadership to provide clinical expertise for the Genetic Testing utilization management program. A board-certified Genetic Counselor with over 25 years of clinical experience in prenatal, adult and cancer genetics, and 12 years as an administrator and genetic counselor for health insurance companies.

Karen completed her masters in genetics at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991 and her master’s in management at Aquinas College in 2002.

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Tara Maga, PhD, MS LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Clinical Instructor, University of Illinois-Chicago

Tara graduated from the Genetic Counseling Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Prior to entering UW Madison’s master program she earned her PhD in Genetics from the University of Iowa in 2012. During her time at Iowa Tara developed next generation sequencing based technologies in order to elucidate the molecular genetics of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). She still is active within the aHUS community and lectures at family conferences. Tara currently works at the UI Health Hereditary Cancer Clinic at University of Illinois- Chicago providing genetic counseling services, conducting research and acting as an IRB board member. She also co-coordinates and lectures the medical genetics curriculum for the first year medical students and is faculty in the Department of Medicine at UIC. Tara is actively involved with the Northwestern Genetic Counseling Program serving as a co-course instructor of the Research Methods Course and a member of the Research Oversight Committee. Tara also supervises students for their clinical rotation and participates in student thesis projects as a committee member and thesis advisor.

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Holley May, MS, CGC

Laboratory Genetic Counselor, Natera

Holley May graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate program in Genetic Counseling in 2013 after receiving her Bachelor?s degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology at University of Arizona. She currently works remotely as an oncology laboratory genetic counselor at Natera, a genetic testing company based out of San Carlos, California. She works to support the oncology test products offered by Natera and provides pre- and post-test information sessions for patients interested in or wanting to review results of Natera hereditary cancer genetic testing. Holley previously provided cancer and prenatal genetic counseling in the clinical setting.

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Erin McGinnis, MS, CGC

Neurology Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Erin is one of two genetic counselors in the Neurology Department at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children?s Hospital, transitioning to this role in June 2019. Previous experience at Lurie Children?s includes lab utilization management and neuromuscular genetic counseling. She received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University and has been a board certified, licensed genetic counselor since 2016. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she identifies and consents patients for various Lurie Children's and Northwestern epilepsy and neurogenetics research projects and mentors genetic counseling students. Erin is also a member of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP) where she serves as the chair of the Community Outreach Committee.

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Shelly Weiss McQuaid, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Shelly Weiss McQuaid graduated from the Northwestern Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2009, and was certified by the ABGC in 2010. She was a clinical genetic counselor at the Center for Medical Genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem from 2009-2013. She worked as a Regional Medical Specialist at Myriad Genetic Laboratories from 2013-2016. She currently works at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in pediatric oncology, precision medicine and laboratory utilization management. Shelly is an active member of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP) and is on the Board of Directors for the Norton and Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics. She supervises students during rotations, has contributed to lectures in the realms of hereditary cancer, working in the industry/laboratory setting, and psychosocial issues, and has served as a committee member and thesis advisor for genetic counseling student thesis projects.

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Angelique Mercier, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Angelique Mercier graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2014 and was certified by the ABGC in 2014. She currently works at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, providing pediatric genetic counseling for a wide variety of indications, with a focus on pediatric oncology, precision medicine, connective tissue disorders, cystic fibrosis newborn screening, and general genetics. In this role, she supervises genetic counseling students, medical students, and residents and provides lectures to various groups of students and providers. Angelique is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP). Previous clinical experience includes adult oncology, carrier screening program coordination, and educational outreach.

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Kathryn Mraz, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Grey Genetics

Kathryn Mraz graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2009 and is board certified. She currently works as a genetic counselor with Grey Genetics providing telehealth genetic counseling services for cancer and GI/pancreatitis risk assessment which has been her specialty for 11 years. Prior to her position at Grey, she held genetic counselor positions in both academic and community hospitals. Kathryn?s most notable positions were at UIC (2009-2013) and at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) (2014-2019). At UIC she managed, developed and grew the high-risk cancer/GI program at UIC which included the establishment of universal tumor testing and the Familial Cancer Clinic at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Ultimately, the growing world of genomics pulled her to UTHealth where she developed, branded, and grew the Cancer Risk Genetics Program. She was instrumental in developing the high-risk pancreatic screening program and universal tumor testing for a multi-hospital system and focused much of her efforts in various quality, research, marketing, and advocacy projects. Kathryn relocated to Chicago in 2019 and has since continued to offer clinical genetics with continued research interests in high-risk pancreatic cancer surveillance and quality care. She is an active member of NSGC through the Cancer SIG and Industry SIG. She also serves on the Research Committee of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer (CGA-IGC) and has played an active role with the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation since its start in 2012 and currently serves as a Medical Advisor.

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Jason Murphy, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Christ Hospital

Jason received his master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2019. Jason currently works as a cancer genetic counselor at Advocate Christ Medical where he sees patients, assists in the clinical supervision of graduate students, gives lectures to medical students and lay audiences, and co-facilitates a mutation positive support group. He is currently a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals. Prior to becoming a genetic counselor Jason was a research assistant in a neuro-oncology lab at the University of Chicago and an academic researcher at The Joint Commission where he helped to write healthcare standards for organizations across the country.

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Anna Newlin, MS, CGC

Senior Genetic Counselor, Neaman Center for Personalized Medicine

Anna Newlin, MS, CGC, is a board certified genetic counselor who earned her Master of Science degree in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she trained under the tutelage of several well known clinical and research geneticists, including Dr. Francis Collins, current director of the NIH who formerly headed the Human Genome Project. Anna has a broad base of clinical experience which includes prenatal, pediatric and adult genetic counseling specializing more recently in cancer genetics. Anna spent several years involved in clinical ophthalmic genetics which provided her with the unique opportunity to work with families with hereditary eye disorders where she continues to maintain an active clinical presence. She is also involved in several of the Personalized Medicine clinical and research initiatives at NorthShore University HealthCare System.

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leighanne-ormston

Leighanne Ormston, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Loyola University Medical Center

Leighanne graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2020 and was certified by the ABGC in 2020. She is currently practicing as a cancer genetic counselor at Loyola University Medical Center. She is a member of NSGC and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals.

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Vivian Pan, MS, CGC

Director of Genetic Counseling Services, Cook County Health

Vivian Pan graduated from the genetic counseling program at Northwestern University in 2012 and was certified by the ABGC in the same year. Vivian provided genetic counseling for prenatal, cancer and general genetics patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center (2012-2014) and Advocate Medical Group (2014-2017), was a project manager for the eMERGE Pharmacogenomics Project at Northwestern University (2012-2014) and the Lead of the Translational Research Core at the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank (2018). Vivian is actively involved in the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP), the Midwest Genetics Network (MGN), the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC), and the National Society for Genetic Counselors (NSGC), serving on several committees and task forces. She was honored as the recipient of NSGC’s 2017 New Leader Award. Vivian currently provides prenatal and cancer genetic counseling at Cook County Health which serves a racially and ethnically diverse patient population that is predominantly under or un-insured. Vivian is also currently the Chair of the NSGC Professional Status Survey Subcommittee Chair and the NSGC Public Policy Committee Vice-Chair. Vivian co-coordinates the Research Methods class and is a clinical supervisor and thesis adviser for the NUGPGC graduate students.

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Min Seon Park, MS, CGC

Cancer Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medical Group

Min Seon Park received her master's degree in Genetic Counseling from the Northwestern University in 2018 and was certified by ABGC in the same year. She started her career with the Northwestern Cancer Genetics Program where she provides genetic counseling, comprehensive cancer risk assessment, and coordination of medical management for individuals and families for various genetic cancer predisposition syndromes. In addition, she also provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students, medical student, and Residents. She is also a part of the the OncoSET Precision Medicine Program at Northwestern, which is a program that providers more individualized treatment recommendations based on the somatic mutation landscape of the patient's tumor. Min Seon provides insight on potential/incidental germline findings for these patients based on the somatic testing result as well as personal and family history of cancer.

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Melody Perpich, MS, LGC

Genetic Counselor, The University of Chicago Medical Center

Melody Perpich graduated from the genetic counseling program at The University of Michigan in 1987 and is board certified and licensed. She is currently a genetic counselor at The University of Chicago in the Department of Pediatrics working in Pediatric Oncology and in the Department of Medicine working with the Hereditary Hematopoietic Malignancy Program. In this position she sees pediatric and adolescent and young adult patients with hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes, survivorship patients, pediatric and adult patients with hematologic malignancies, and adolescent and young adult patients with sickle cell disease. She is currently a member of the PTEN expert panel variant curation team through ClinGen. Previously she developed the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at Advocate Creticos Cancer Center where she was the program coordinator and provider of genetic counseling services. Melody previously worked at the University of Chicago as an adult cancer genetics counselor for 10 years, at Illinois Masonic Medical Center for 10 years as a prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis genetic counselor and for 3 year at the University of Illinois, Chicago as a pediatric and prenatal genetic counselor. She also supervises students who come to the University of Chicago for cancer genetics in-person and remote rotations, provides journal club mentorship and has been a Mystery Pedigree and general lecturer for the program.

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Brynn Persky, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Progenity

Brynn Persky graduated from the genetic counseling program at Northwestern University and was board certified in 2013. She is a genetic counseling consultant at Progenity where she primarily focuses on counseling patients and providers regarding genetic carrier screening, noninvasive prenatal testing, and hereditary cancer predisposition testing. Prior to her position with Progenity, Brynn spent six years as a prenatal counselor at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center. In addition to clinical work, Brynn is interested in developing lectures and educating healthcare providers about genetic counseling.

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Kristen Postula, MS, CGC

Assistant Director, MyGeneTeam/GeneDx

Kristen Vogel Postula is a board-certified genetic counselor with over 15 years of experience in clinical cancer genetics, research, and education. Kristen is an Assistant Director at MyGeneTeam, providing services on behalf of GeneDx's Inherited Cancer customer service genetic counseling team. Prior to this, Kristen worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2005-2007 in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology, providing genetic counseling services and conducting research in the area of breast cancer genetics. In 2007, she transitioned to the Center for Medical Genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, providing genetic counseling services to adults at risk for a variety of adult-onset genetic diseases, with an emphasis on inherited cancer susceptibility. While at NorthShore, Kristen was the Principal Investigator for the NorthShore Pancreatic Cancer Family Registry and also served on the research team for Health Heritage, an innovative online risk assessment tool for cancer and other adult-onset diseases. Kristen has also authored a number of peer-reviewed papers on cancer susceptibility syndromes and NGS-panels for cancer susceptibility. Kristen is an active faculty member with the Northwestern Genetic Counseling program, serving as co-coordinator of the Adult Genetics Course, a member of the Research Oversight Committee, and has served as thesis committee member and/or thesis advisor for numerous students.

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rachel-pothast

Rachel Pothast, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine

Rachel Pothast graduated from the Northwestern Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling (NUGPGC) in 1999 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2002. Rachel is an active faculty member with the NUGPGC, serving as co-course coordinator of the Principles of Medical Genetics I, II and III, a member of the Faculty Review Committee, and has served as thesis committee member for numerous students. Rachel is past-president of the Illinois Society of Genetics Professionals and is active in the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) serving as a site-visitor, a member of the Accreditation Application Review Committee and most recently as a Chair of the ACGC Standards Committee. She is currently a genetic counselor in the Division of Clinical Genetics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students, medical students and maternal fetal medicine fellows.

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Lauren Propst, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Igenomix

Lauren Propst graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2016 and was certified by the ABGC in 2016. She worked for over two years as a prenatal genetic counselor in the Center for Maternal and Fetal Health at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Lauren is currently a preconception genetic counselor at Igenomix, where she specializes in preimplantation genetic testing and carrier screening. Lauren enjoys participating in research and student thesis projects, and she currently serves on the executive board of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Genetic Counseling Professional Group.

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shayna-purcell

Shayna Purcell, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Shayna Purcell graduated from the Northwestern Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2017. Shayna works as a clinical genetic counselor at NorthShore University HealthSystem, where she primarily sees adult patients for assessment of hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. Shayna is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals. She also enjoys working with genetic counseling graduate students as a clinical supervisor.

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khateriaa-pyrtel

Khateriaa Pyrtel, MS, CGC

Coordinator- Hi Risk Assessment/Genetic Counselor, Advocate Medical Group

Khateriaa earned a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling. She is licensed and board certified in genetic counseling. Khateriaa works as a clinical genetic counselor with a focus in hereditary cancer risk assessment, and she also serves as the Coordinator of Cancer Risk Assessment Program. She has a particular interest in the intersection of hereditary cancer testing and somatic/tumor genomic profiling. She provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students and also serves on the Admissions Committee of the program.

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Liya Rabkina, MS

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Aurora Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Liya graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2020. She is currently practicing as an oncology genetic counselor with the Creticos Cancer Center at AdvocateAurora Illinois Masonic Medical Center. She also is involved in the Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics as an associate board member. She is a member of the National Society for Genetic Counselors.

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Melissa Ramos, MS, MLS (ASCP), LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Insight Medical Genetics

Melissa Ramos graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and was board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2014. She currently works as a prenatal genetic counselor at Insight Medical Genetics. Melissa also serves as the genetic counselor for the Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics, where she helps educate the local Jewish community about the risk of Jewish genetic disorders and counsels patients who participate in the at-home carrier screening program. Additionally, she provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students during their rotations at Insight Medical Genetics. Melissa is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP).

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katie-rembisz

Katie Rembisz, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Katie received a Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2019. She is currently a clinical genetic counselor at NorthShore University HealthSystem, where she primarily sees adult patients for hereditary cancer risk assessment. Katie is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals. She enjoys working with genetic counseling students as a clinical supervisor.

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Marc Rosenbaum, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Rush University Medical Center

Marc Rosenbaum received his master's degree from Northwestern University's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2019. Previously, he attended Loyola University Chicago where he majored in molecular biology and Spanish, and he briefly trained as a medical student in Kansas City before deciding to pursue genetic counseling. He is currently working full-time in the Movement Disorders section of the Neurology Department at Rush University Medical Center on the West Side of Chicago, providing genetic counseling to patients with hereditary neurological diseases including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and hereditary ataxias, as well as assisting with clinical research and Rush's HDSA Center of Excellence clinic.

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Janine Rosenberg, MS, CGC

Laboratory Genetic Counselor, ACL Laboratories

Janine received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Indiana University and was certified by the ABGC in 2011. She began her genetic counseling career as one of two full-time prenatal genetic counselors for the Fetal Diagnostics Department at Advocate Christ Medical Center. From late 2014 until present, she has been a laboratory genetic counselor at ACL Laboratories in Rosemont, IL. While Janine largely supports Cytogenetics, she has also integrated genetic counseling services into the Molecular, Referral Testing, and Business Development departments. She helped initiate a Utilization Management protocol for all cytogenetic and send out genetic testing at ACL Laboratories. She also supervises students who come to ACL for a laboratory rotation and is regularly a journal club mentor for the program.

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Maureen Smith, MS, CGC

Associate Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University

Maureen Smith received a master of science degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 1987 and was certified in genetic counseling by the ABMG in 1990, and by the ABGC in 1993. She has more than 14 years of clinical genetic counseling experience in the areas of prenatal, pediatric, adult and cancer genetics in academic medical centers. Maureen left clinical care to gain experience in an industry setting where she worked for several start-up companies before joining Northwestern to focus on research. Maureen joined Northwestern in 2003 as the clinical director for the NUgene genetic banking study and became the director in 2011. She has had several NIH funded awards including PI for the Northwestern electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network, Phases 2 and 3, an NIH funded project that tests the key elements to implementing personalized medicine. Her research focus includes issues of consent for biobanking and genetic research, implementation of genomic medicine in clinical care, and involving stakeholders in genetic research. Maureen is an active member of the ASHG and the NSGC, and served as NSGC President from 1997-1998. She was the recipient of the Natalie Weissberger Paul Award in 2009 for outstanding achievement and leadership on behalf of the NSGC. Maureen retired from Northwestern in the Summer 2020, she remains active in her own research, mentoring student research, and teaching.

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Sara Spencer, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor - Assistant Professor, Northwestern Medicine

Sara Spencer graduated from the genetic counseling program at Sarah Lawrence College in 2006, and was certified by the ABGC in 2007. She worked as an adult cancer genetic counselor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 2006-2009. She has been a cancer and reproductive genetic counselor in the Division of Clinical Genetics at Northwestern Medicine since 2009, now specializing in reproductive genetics. Sara supervises genetic counseling students, medical students and maternal-fetal medicine fellows in clinical rotation. She serves as Core Faculty for the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, thesis advisor and Research Oversight Committee member. Sara has an interest in genomics and is a volunteer biocurator for ClinGen. She has also been a column writer for Perspectives in Genetic Counseling since 2009.

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jessica-stoll

Jessica Stoll, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Tempus Labs, Inc.

Jessica Stoll graduated from the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling and was board certified by ABGC in 2014. She joined Tempus Labs as their first genetic counselor in 2019, where she currently provides clinical genetics support for both the oncology and neuro/psychiatry teams, aids in new product development, and runs new hire sales trainings for pharmacogenomics. She has prior clinical experience in cancer genetics, most notably as the Associate Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at University of Chicago Medicine. Her other career focus has been in educational programming, designing curriculum and presenting on clinical genetics to multiple specialties, including genetic counseling students, residents and fellows, and practicing clinicians. She is an active member of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer (CGA-IGC), the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP), and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), having served on the board/council for both CGA and ISGP.

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brittany-szymaniak

Brittany Szymaniak, PhD, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine

Brittany Szymaniak graduated from Northwestern University's Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling in 2018 and received her PhD in Genetics from University of Rochester in 2016. Her primary appointment is in the Urology department at Northwestern Medicine as part of the Cancer Genetics Program, where she focuses on prostate/GU and GI related hereditary cancer syndromes, as well as male factor infertility. Brittany serves as the point of contact for Northwestern Medicine's VHL Clinical Care Center. Brittany is also actively working with the Ophthalmology department to develop an inherited retinal disorders clinic. In addition to her appointment in the genetic counseling program, Brittany is an Instructor with the Urology department.

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jennifer-thompson

Jennifer Thompson, MS, CGC

Research Genetic Counselor, NorthShore University HealthSystem

Jennifer Thompson graduated from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University in 2017 and was certified by the ABGC in August 2017. After graduating, Jennifer worked at Rush University Medical Center, where she provided genetic counseling services to patients with a personal or family history suggestive of a hereditary cancer condition. Jennifer currently works at NorthShore University HealthSystem as a research genetic counselor. She oversees the research studies through the Center for Medical Genetics and is a member of the Center for Personalized Medicine research team. Jennifer is a member of the NSGC and the Genetic Task Force of Illinois.

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devon-thrush

Devon Lamb Thrush, MS, CGC

Senior Genomic Specialist, Ambry Genetics

Devon Lamb Thrush graduated from the genetic counseling program at Case Western Reserve University in 2004 and was certified by the ABGC in 2005. Since 2015, she has worked at Ambry Genetics as a genetic counselor in Product Development, aiding in new product design and clinical tests, content development, system validations, and work flow management. After working in clinical practice for two years, Devon worked from 2006-2015 as a laboratory genetic counselor at Nationwide Children?s Hospital where she was active in teaching. She is a member of the ClinGen Syndromic Disorders Gene Curation Expert Panel.

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ellen-totten

Ellen Totten, MS LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Ellen graduated with a Master of Science degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2010, and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2011. Ellen has been a genetic counselor with Advocate Healthcare/Advocate Medical Group since 2010, seeing patients at multiple Advocate sites, but has been based primarily out of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital since 2013. Ellen?s areas of focus are hereditary cancer risk assessment and pediatrics. Ellen is involved with education by providing clinical supervision for genetic counseling graduate students as well as guest lectures for the Northwestern Genetic Counseling program.

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rebecca-vandyke

Rebecca E. VanDyke, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine West Region

Rebecca VanDyke graduated with Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from The Ohio State University in May 2017. She has been a genetic counselor at Northwestern Medicine West Region (Central DuPage and Delnor Hospitals) since July 2017. Her clinical focus is cancer and cardiovascular genetics. Rebecca provides clinical supervision to students who rotate through the NM West Region locations. She is a current member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

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sarah-walterman

Sarah Walterman, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Northwestern Medicine

Sarah graduated from the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program of the University of Cincinnati in 2014 and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2015. She is currently a prenatal counselor in the Division of Clinical Genetics at Northwestern Medicine and provides clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students, medical students, and maternal-fetal medicine fellows.

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Allison Goetsch Weisman, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Allison Goetsch Weisman received her Master's degree in genetic counseling from Northwestern University in 2014 was certified by the ABGC in 2014. She is a pediatric genetic counselor in the Division of Genetics, Birth Defects, & Metabolism at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where she serves as clinic coordinator for the Neurofibromatosis clinic and provides genetic counseling to patients and families in the Sex Development Program and general genetics. In 2016, Allison was the "CodeTalker" award winner – a patient nominated national award for excellence in genetic counseling. In addition to her clinical role, Allison is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She enjoys teaching, supervising, and serving as thesis advisor to graduate students, as well as conducting her own research. Her research interests include fertility preservation and the healthcare transition process. Allison has several publications in these areas of interest, including co-authorship of Fertility Preservation and Restoration for Patients with Complex Medical Conditions, a medical textbook. Allison recently completed a published national Neurofibromatosis healthcare transition readiness study and was an author for the National Society of Genetic Counselors' (NSGC) Neurofibromatosis Practice Resource. Further, as the 2020 Immediate Past President of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals (ISGP), Illinois Rare Disease Commission member, and Global Genes volunteer, Allison advocates on a state and national level for the genetic counseling profession and the rare disease community.

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scott-weissman

Scott Weissman, MS, LCGC

Lead of Cancer Services, Genome Medical and Chicago Genetic Consultants, LLC.

Scott Weissman graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign in 1998 with a BS in biology. After graduation, he spent two years at the Molecular Oncology Diagnostic Laboratory at UIC developing expertise in molecular genetic techniques used in various hematologic and oncologic disorders. He completed the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern in 2002, and was certified by the ABGC in 2002. Scott provided adult and cancer genetic counseling at the Center for Medical Genetics in Evanston, IL for 12 years, supervising genetic counseling students in those rotations, and was a thesis advisor/committee member. He joined GeneDx in 2013 and was an Inherited Cancer Specialist working with Hereditary Cancer Panels. In 2016, he opened his own private practice genetic counseling company, Chicago Genetic Consultants, LLC and currently works for Genome Medical as well. He is active in the NSGC and is a past co-chair of the Cancer Special Interest Group and is the NSGC liaison to the Commission on Cancer and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

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heather-willems

Heather Willems, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor , ThedaCare

Heather Willems graduated from the University of Colorado program in genetic counseling in 2018 and was certified by ABGC in 2018. She started her career at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in the Chicago Institute for Fetal Health. She currently works at ThedaCare in cancer genetics. She is a member of NSGC.

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sarah-witherington

Sarah Witherington, MS, CGC

Senior Product Manager, Quest Diagnostics

Sarah Witherington graduated from the Northwestern program in genetic counseling in 2013 and was certified by the ABGC in 2014. Her bachelor's degree is in biochemical sciences from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. She is currently a Senior Product Manager for Quest Diagnostics covering neonatal and pediatric genetic tests. In this position, she helps design, launch, and market genetic testing products for neonatal and NICU populations. Sarah was previously a Genomic Science Liaison with Quest Diagnostics and Athena Diagnostics. In these positions she traveled across the country giving lectures on genetic testing, helping clinicians determine testing strategies, and acting as a resource for healthcare providers. She started her career at Ambry Genetics as a Genetic Specialist covering exome sequencing, pediatrics, and oncology genetics, where she also gained supervision experience. She has a particular research interest in emerging roles for genetic counselors and professional issues related to non-clinical roles. Sarah also participates in student thesis projects as a committee member and thesis adviser, as well as a rotation supervisor for an "Emerging careers" rotation at Quest. Sarah is the current chair of the Lab and Industry SIG within NSGC with previous positions with the NSGC Membership committee, Lab and Industry SIG, and the ISGP Marketing committee.

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kristen-young

Kristen Young, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

Kristen Young received her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2019. She started her career as a prenatal genetic counselor at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where she provided clinical supervision to genetic counseling graduate students. Kristen is currently a genetic counselor in the Chicago Institute for Fetal Health at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, serving on the Access and Service Delivery Committee. She is also a member of the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals.

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alice-zalan

Alice Zalan, MS, CGC

Pediatric Genetic Counselor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Alice Zalan graduated from the Genetic Counseling Program at Northwestern University in 2018 with a master’s degree. She currently works as a Pediatric Genetic Counselor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, providing comprehensive care and genetic counseling to individuals and families affected by pediatric, adult onset, and cardiac conditions. In the coming year, she will serve as a clinical supervisor for genetic counseling graduate students.

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