Preview: Elfarawi-Lillie - University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program

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JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 1 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI GENETIC COUNSELING PROGRAM Winter 2020 Newsletter COME SEE WHAT WEVE BEEN UP TO! WHATS INSIDE THIS ISSUE: . Directors Update............2 NSGC 2019..........................3 First Year Experience.....4 Alumni Spotlight..............5 Class of 2020 Huether Endowment.....7 Faculty Corner..................8 Online Courses...............10 2019 Job Placements...11 logos Class of 2021 Contact Us........................12 JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 2 Directors Update Hello Alumni and Friends! I hope your past year was a good one and that 2020 is filled with amazing personal and professional adventures. As we start the New Year, we welcome a growing leadership team. Shumaila (Mylo) Ali has joined the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program as the new Program Coordinator, and Emily Wakefield has joined as the Admissions Coordinator, a newly created role to help with the hundreds of admission inquiries and applications we receive each year

(over 260 applications this year!). You can read more about Mylo and Emily in this newsletter and on our website (www.cincinnatichildrens.org/geneticcounselingprogram). We are so fortunate and grateful to have both on board. This. past year we underwent a UC Graduate Program review and were thrilled to receive the highest rating possible. Reviewers commended “the fine-scale coordination of academic coursework, clinical rotations, and research methods to ensure all aspects of the student experience are integrated.” One of the recommendations coming from reviewers was to formally create an alumni network through Facebook or LinkedIn. As a result, we now have an Alumni Facebook page and hope you will join if you haven’t already (https://www.facebook.com/groups/508803709910826/). This coming year our attention will be focused on preparing for ACGC reaccreditation. We anticipate involving both students and recent alumni in the process. We are always grateful for our alumni’s input

and assistance in recruiting the best and brightest to the Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Program. Thank you to everyone who has participate in the “Meet-a-Grad Program.” If you haven’t met our current students yet, you can learn all about them on our website. You may have heard that our Division Director, Lou Muglia, MD, PhD, has accepted a position as President of the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation. Dr. Muglia has been a tremendous advocate for the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and while we wish him all the best in his new position, we are sad to see him go. However, we are excited to work with the Interim Director for the Division of Human Genetics, Dr. John Hogenesch Hogenesch. Dr. Hogenesch is a genome biologist, internationally recognized for his contributions to understanding the circadian clock and how it regulates physiology and behavior. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about the Program. We are eager to hear your updates and hope you will

contribute news to the new Alumni Update section of our newsletter. Keeping reading to learn more about alumna Alison Elliott and her successful career in genetic counseling! Best wishes to all! Melanie JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 3 2019 NSGC Conference Second year students April Vanderwal and Kelly Buh told us about their experiences at the 2019 National Society of Genetic Counselors Conference My classmates and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the NSGC 38th Annual Conference this November, which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah. After hearing about the annual conference from the second years last year, we were ecstatic that it was finally our turn as second years to experience the conference for ourselves! We boarded our flight from Cincinnati to Salt Lake City bright and early, coffees in hand and buzzing with excitement. When we arrived in Salt Lake City, we had a few hours before the opening ceremonies that afternoon. 12 hungry travelers and their 12 respectively

over-packed suitcases then shared a luxurious Italian dining experience together at Olive Garden full of laughter and breadsticks. We had just enough time after lunch to swing by our Airbnb (where all 12 of us were staying together) to drop off our luggage and head downtown to the conference center. It was overwhelming to see so many genetic counselors in one space, and we were pumped and ready to make . the most of every opportunity presented to us! As first time attendees, my classmates and I thoroughly planned out our days at the conference, running from room to room, often waking before sunrise and returning home after dark to attend talks, workshops, award presentations, debates, performances, networking events, SIG meetings, informational interviews, and more. At the end of the day we would all return to our Airbnb to discuss the events of the day, exhausted but empowered by what we had heard at the conference. In particular, my classmates and I could not stop talking about a

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presentation we heard from a woman with Usher syndrome in which she discussed her life and her experiences with genetic counseling. We also heard from a woman with prion disease about her personal experiences with the disease in her family as well as her professional journey into the biomedical sciences to research treatment for the condition. The perspectives we heard from these women were so powerful, and we all felt extremely grateful that they shared these experiences with us. Another amazing part of the annual conference was getting to meet students from different programs across the country (and Canada too!) and getting to know many people across the field. Networking with different companies was daunting, but it was an amazing chance to hear about job opportunities. There were so many amazing talks and workshops throughout the week, my classmates and I returned to Cincinnati at the end of the conference exhausted and excited for our careers in such a dynamic field. Between all

the educational and networking opportunities, we also managed to find the time to stop by some local landmarks, relax in the hot tub at our Airbnb, go on a hike, watch several Disney movies, and share a very unique dining experience at the Paradise Buffet. We learned, we laughed, and we strengthened both personal and professional relationships – NSGC 2019 was truly one for the books! JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 4 FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCES Interview with Katherine Perry, first year student Do you have any advice for someone going through the application process? My biggest piece of advice would to be not be afraid of the application process and to be yourself. The application process can seem very long and daunting, so be sure to stay on top of deadlines and to start early. Also, be aware of the requirements for each school, as there are no set pre-requisites or application requirements for genetic counseling programs. As far as advice for the actual application, do not be afraid to be

different and to be yourself! I was a music performance major in undergrad and was involved in AmeriCorps. Although these were not ‘typical’ activities for a genetic counseling student, they were definitely what I was asked most about in interviews. Best of luck to all those applying! Why did you decide to come to UC? The University of Cincinnati is one of the oldest and most established genetic counseling programs in the country. The affiliation with Cincinnati Children’s allows for students to complete clinical rotations at one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation. UC has a strong focus on both clinical and research skills; both clinical rotations and thesis work start in the first semester. I also wanted a larger program, and I felt that cohorts of 12 students allowed for there to be a diverse group of students where we could learn from and encourage one another, while still receiving individualized support from the faculty. What are you most looking forward to

during the remainder of your training? I am most excited to continue in clinical rotations and to rotate through the many specialty clinics here at Cincinnati Children’s. They are a great opportunity to learn more on how genetic counseling can be involved in specialty clinics, become a better-rounded genetic counselor, and to hopefully decide what specialty I want to work in after graduation! What led you to pursue a career in genetic counseling? I have been interested in medicine for about as long as I can remember, but I was never sure what specifically I wanted to go into. I shadowed lots of different doctors, specialties, and clinics and ultimately felt genetic counseling was the best combination of spending time with patients and being on the cutting edge of science. I was involved with an organization to support the survivor of sexual assault while in undergrad and loved that I could continue advocacy work in genetic counseling. I completed a summer internship at Cincinnati

Children’s doing research in genetic counseling which confirmed my love of the profession. . What is one memory that stands out from your first year so far? My favorite memory so far has been Friendsgiving. It has been so fun getting to know my classmates both in and out of class, and any event that includes food makes it that much better. We even got to meet my classmate’s dog Wallace! Especially as someone who had not met any other students interested in genetic counseling before the interview process, it has been great getting to know people who have the same passions and goals that I do. View all of our current student bios here: https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/education/clinical/graduate/ grad/genetic-counseling/about/current-students JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 5 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Dr. Alison Elliott Dr. Alison Elliott, a celebrated graduate of the UCGCP, is known for her advocacy work for the field of genetic counseling in Canada. She currently resides in British Columbia

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where she not only works as a genetic counselor and clinical associate professor at BC Women’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia, but also as the Project Lead for GenCOUNSEL. GenCounsel aims to identify how the increase in clinical implementation of genome-wide sequencing will affect genetic counselors, and determine how best to provide genetic counseling within this context. We asked Dr. Elliott how her time at the UCGCP influenced her career choices. What is your current position, and what path have you taken to get there? I am currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. My path has been enriched with research, clinical, teaching and mentorship experiences and additional training. After obtaining my MS in Genetic Counselling from University of Cincinnati, I worked at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) as a genetic counsellor. I then moved to Los Angeles, CA to work at

the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry with Dr. David Rimoin and his exceptional team, where my clinical and research work focused on skeletal disorders. This was followed by completing a PhD and post-doctoral studies on limb malformations with Dr. Jane Evans at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada). I also obtained certification in higher level teaching and health services leadership and management. Subsequently, I became the Program Director for the Winnipeg Regional Health Program – Genetics and Metabolism, where I performed research on rare disease and spearheaded the development of the most recently established Master’s training program in Genetic Counselling in Canada (University of Manitoba). Approximately five years ago, I moved to UBC to lead genome-wide sequencing translational initiatives on rare diseases and am the Project Lead of GenCOUNSEL – Optimizing genetic counselling with the clinical implementation of genome-wide sequencing – the largest

research genetic counselling grant ever awarded. In 2018, I received a national leadership award from the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselling in professional practice, innovation and advocacy. What is your favorite aspect of your position? I have many favourite aspects, but mentoring students and performing research are at the top. I also love teaching and cherish interacting with trainees. It is so fulfilling to have students enjoy their research experiences and publish their work. How did the UCGCP program influence your career? UC provided me with an incredibly solid JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 6 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Dr. Alison Elliott foundation in genetics and genetic counselling, and its emphasis on research was a major reason for my choosing UC over other training programs. I believe UC to be one of the top genetic counselling training programs. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by teratologist Dr. Bill Scott for my research project and am happy that we are still

collaborating. What advice would you give to current students? Make the most of your training experience. It is fortunate to be clinically supervised by diverse faculty members. This allows you to “try on” different counselling styles and determine what is most genuine for you. Do your best to have your research projects published – submitting before leaving UC makes this much easier. What advice do you have for new graduates or other alumni? 1. Realize that the field of genetic counselling now has more opportunities for genetic counsellors than ever. As a result, realize that you are never "locked in” to one position/discipline, although developing expertise in an area is a huge asset. 2. Know your limits and respect them. Lean on others when needed and ensure you have a decent support network with friends, family and colleagues. 1. 2. 3. Network with colleagues – meetings are an incredible opportunity for this. Effective collaborators (including those from other

disciplines) will improve your research program. 4. Find mentors. We all need them, regardless of when we graduated. 5. Be a mentor. Your career will be far more enriched. 6. Publish your work. 7. Stay active. 8. If you decide to have a family, make them your priority. Sure, you will be busy, but as long as your children are your priority, life will be more straightforward and fulfilling. JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 7 HUETHER ENDOWMENT . The generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Huether has supported UC genetic counseling students for many years. Donating to the Huether Endowment ensures continued support for genetic counseling students educational travel, where they learn about cutting edge research, present posters, and network for future employment. Click HERE to donate now or visit: https://foundation.uc.edu/donate? id=9ae770f4-a284-4754-a15e262829548169 JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 8 FACULTY CORNER Emily Wakefield . Hello! I am from Columbus, Ohio and graduated from THE Ohio State University

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in 2010 with a B.S. in Molecular Genetics (Go Bucks!). After graduation, I moved to New Jersey and worked at Coriell Institute for Medical Research as a Biorepository Research Coordinator. I attended graduate school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and graduated in 2014. While I enjoyed getting to live in different parts of the country for a few years, I was VERY excited to move back home to Ohio. After graduation, I worked as a laboratory genetic counselor in the molecular genetics lab at Cincinnati Children’s. Eventually, I started taking on roles as a clinical counselor as well and developed our Hearing Loss clinic and RASopathies clinic. When Bette Young announced her retirement, I jumped at the opportunity to be more involved in the UCGCP and to work with prospective and current students! I’m now working as a lab genetic counselor, admissions coordinator for the UCGCP, and course instructor for Emerging Topics in Clinical Genomics. In my admissions coordinator role,

I answer prospective student inquiries and will be helping to facilitate the review of applications and interviewing applicants in 2020. In my Topics role, I’ve been revamping the exam questions to be similar to those seen on the board exam, and I’ve been designing a new course for next semester that focuses on Precision Genomics. I’ve very much enjoyed my time with the UCGCP so far and I’m looking forward to a successful admissions season! Welcome Emily! JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 9 FACULTY CORNER Shumaila Ali Hello, I recently joined the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program as a Program Coordinator. Before joining the team, I was working as the main resource for the Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program. . I grew up in Islamabad, Pakistan and moved to London for a few years to complete my Law degree. After specializing in International Business Law, I moved back to Pakistan and practiced at a corporate law firm for a year and a half and then moved to the US. I lived in

Georgia the first few years where I worked for a social security disability law firm. After moving to Cincinnati, I decided to change my career path and joined Children’s in 2016. My role consists of helping with day to day administrative duties for the Program and supporting the students however way possible. I appreciate my work as it gives me the opportunity to help students accomplish their career goals and future endeavors. I enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures. Being a foodie!!! I love trying out new places to eat and various cuisines. My family here is, my husband, an active 5 year old, an insomniac 8 month old and our cat Mao. Needless to say they keep me on my toes Welcome Mylo! JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 10 ONLINE COURSES Continue your education with UC/CCHMC CEU courses! Courses Offered: . Cardiovascular Genetics (1.0 CEUs) Clinical Embryology (2.55 CEUs) Laboratory Genetic Counseling (1.9 CEUs) Neurogenetics (1.1 CEUs) Teratology (2.0 CEUs) Genetic

Counseling Case Series (CEUs unavailable) To learn more, visit: https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/educatio n/clinical/graduate/grad/geneticcounseling/online-ceu-courses JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 11 CLASS OF 2019 JOB PLACEMENTS Jacquelynn Berton Prenatal, St. Elizabeths Edgewood, KY Melissa Henderson Cancer, Multicare Takoma, WA Haley Keller Cancer, Ambry Cincinnati, OH Jessica Clark Pediatric, MultiCare Takoma, WA Nicholas Little Cancer, TriHealth Cincinnati, OH Alexandra Magnante Lab, University of Chicago Chicago, IL Rebecca McGowan Preconception/ART, GeneScreen Bernardsville, NJ Laura Marx Pediatric, St. Lukes Boise, ID Chelsea Menke Cancer, Norton Healthcare Louisville, KY Preethi Raghuram Pillai Prenatal, Integrated Genetics San Diego, CA Paige Poggemeier Prenatal/MFM, Norton Healthcare Louisville, KY Bryana Rivers Pediatric, Nationwide Childrens Washington D.C. Congratulations to all of our graduates! JANUARY 2020 | PAGE 12 CREDITS If you or someone you know is

interested in learning more about genetic counseling and our program, please visit: Website: www.cincinnatichildrens.org/geneticcoun selingprogram Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/UCgeneticcounseling Student Blog: www. ucgeneticcounseling.blogspot.com Contact us: Genetic Counseling Graduate Program Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center 3333 Burnet Ave., ML 4006 Cincinnati, OH 45229 Phone: 513-636-8448 Fax: 513-636-0543 Email: GCPROG@cchmc.org This newsletter edition was edited by Hunaydah Elfarawi and Natasha Lillie

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