The Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship is an American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG) accredited training program at Washington University School of Medicine. The program is designed to prepare doctoral level, biomedical professionals for careers as clinical molecular genetics laboratory directors and consultants with expertise in diagnostic test performance, design, supervision, interpretation and management.
Historically, WUSM’s Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MDL) has provided training to trainees of the ABMG-accredited Clinical Medical Genetics Residency program since 2003. Additionally, surgical pathology and laboratory medicine residents and clinical chemistry fellows receive molecular pathology training during rotations in the MDL.
In addition to these programs, the Department of Pathology and Immunology also supports active subspecialty training in Molecular Genetics Pathology with an ABP-accredited fellowship program as well as a new Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship within the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine.
Primary educational objectives include:
- Learning the essentials of specimen collection, identification and processing
- Recognizing the clinical indications for molecular testing, the biologic basis of the test and the technical limitations of the assay; identifying the clinical utility of the test findings as it relates to the care of the patient; and knowing the key components of an effective molecular lab report
- Observing, understanding and performing basic molecular genetics laboratory techniques
- Participating in the education of the molecular laboratory personnel regarding the clinical care of individuals with molecular genetic abnormalities
- Facilitating the education of the molecular laboratory personnel, physicians, genetic counselors and other health care professionals about the laboratory detection of molecular genetic abnormalities
- Participating with the Laboratory Director in effective communication of molecular genetic results to physicians, genetic counselors, other health care professionals, and patients and their families
- Locating, appraising and assimilating evidence from scientific research studies related to molecular genetic results
- Using information technology to access online molecular genetic information, manage information and support the trainee’s personal education in the field
- Developing strategies to learn about future advances in the understanding of the molecular basis for disease, to incorporate improved identification, counseling and management of these disorders into laboratory practice
Clinical molecular genetics is a laboratory-based specialty of medical genetics that focuses on the discovery of and laboratory testing for DNA mutations that underlie disease. Clinical molecular genetics is recognized as a primary specialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Laboratory postdoctoral fellowship training programs in this specialty are accredited by the ABMGG and require a minimum of 24 months of training with a significant amount of clinical interaction as related to human genetic abnormalities.
Trainees entering this specialty must hold either an MD or PhD (or their equivalent); the PhD degree must either be in genetics, molecular biology or a related field within the biological sciences. Individuals with an MD or PhD earned outside the United States or Canada must have their degree reviewed by the ABMGG Credentials Committee prior to entering a training program.
Upon successful completion of the program, clinical molecular geneticists have the skills and knowledge to function as technical supervisors of clinical laboratories as well as clinical consultants regarding laboratory diagnoses of a broad range of inherited disorders, and may in many jurisdictions be deemed qualified to direct specialty clinical molecular laboratories.
Training is held in the state-of-the-art Cortex building on the edge of the medical campus known as the CORTEX District (Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange).
Our fellowship positions are filled through the 2015-2016 academic year. We are not currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year.
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