Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship
Through our Laboratory Genetics and Genomics fellowship program we intend to produce laboratory geneticists competent to discover pathogenic genetic defects underlying human ailments, to develop laboratory assays to detect genetic alterations (germline and somatic) in clinical samples, to interpret results, and to effectively communicate these results to non-geneticist direct care providers. To this end, we recruit medical graduates with residency training in Pathology, Pediatrics, or Internal medicine; or doctoral graduates in the field of Biology, Genetics or Molecular Biology. Graduated fellows are well prepared to develop independent career in an academic setting or in a private laboratory to direct a full-service genetics laboratory that provides a comprehensive testing menu from chromosome analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization, cytogenomic microarrays, molecular assays including next generation sequencing. They are also well prepared to make scientific contributions to the existing knowledge.
The Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) Fellowship offered in the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSWMC) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This is a two year program designed per the guidelines of the ACGME to gain eligibility to take the LGG certification of examination of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG).
The training is intense, covering clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics, and also provides basic laboratory training in biochemical and forensic genetics, and in clinical and cancer genetics. Although much of the two year time is allocated to meet the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics-mandated course, we strongly encourage scholarly activity in areas of personal interest throughout the training period. The trainees spend at least 18 months in the core training areas (cytogenetics and molecular genetics), and one month each in the ancillary areas (biochemical genetics, clinical genetics, cancer genetics, fetal genetics).
Southwestern Medical Center is committed to an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. As an equal opportunity employer, UT Southwestern prohibits unlawful discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, or veteran status. To learn more, please visit: https://jobs.utsouthwestern.edu/why-work-here/diversity-inclusion/.
The primary faculty of the section of genetics diagnostics laboratories are all board-certified and have more than 50 combined years of experience in laboratory-based genetics diagnostics, test development, laboratory management, and regulatory compliance. We provide service to patients of all ages, from fetal to geriatric, covering a wide range of genetic conditions. Testing may be for direct diagnosis of a manifesting genetic condition, or may assess personal or reproductive risk.
Our laboratories handle the broadest spectrum of specimens from these patients, thereby providing an opportunity to the trainees to participate in the laboratory processes involved from the time a specimen is received until the final report is signed out.
Training is structured in different laboratories based on the subspecialty and expertise. The Clinical Cytogenetics and Chromosome Micro Array laboratory at UTSWMC provides comprehensive in-depth training in classical chromosome analysis, fluorescence in-situ hybridization, molecular pathology, and micro array analysis. This laboratory processes over 4000 specimens annually and generates nearly 9000 reportable analytes to clinicians. The goal of this training is to expose the trainee to a wide variety of patient conditions and specimens allowing the trainee to develop professional competency and independence by the time of graduation.
Comprehensive clinical molecular genetics training is provided through different laboratories: the molecular diagnostics laboratory (MDL) at UTSWMC, NGS laboratory at UTSMC, the advanced diagnostics laboratory (ADL) at Children’s Health℠ Children’s Medical Center Dallas (an affiliated institution of UTSWMC), and the molecular genetics laboratories (MGL) at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. MDL has broad coverage of cancer molecular genetics, ADL focusses on pediatric germline conditions, and MGL processes testing across a broad spectrum of genetic conditions.
Examples of some of the technologies routinely used in these laboratories include qualitative and quantitative PCR, fragment analysis, Sanger sequencing, SNP detection by PCR and by mass-spectrometry based methods, next generation sequencing.
Besides working directly on clinical specimens at the bench, the trainee participates in didactic learning activities offered through different training areas: case conferences, grand rounds, guest lectures, and resident teaching sessions. The trainee will have the experience of participating in laboratory regulatory compliance reviews, management meetings, laboratory management lectures, and budgetary processes. The trainee will teach and supervise rotating pathology residents and other fellows, and will have the opportunity to participate in assay development.
There is limited time to carry out independent research projects in a two-year program; however, the pathology department strongly encourages trainees to engage in scholarly activities and offers research grants to support approved projects. The pathology program and LGG program faculty expect trainee involvement in activities leading to presentation at meetings and/or publication. Both clinical and research faculty at UTSWMC are available for collaboration on a variety of cytogenetic and molecular genetics-related projects.
Candidates with a medical degree (M.D. or D.O.) must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in pathology, pediatrics or internal medicine. Candidates with a Ph.D. must have an earned doctoral degree in genetic, biology, or chemistry. Consult the program for complete requirements as these vary depending on education and level of prior training in medicine. At this time we do not accept H1b visas.
- Financial support to attend conferences
- Educational funds
- Additional benefits dependent upon program
- Ramakrishna Koduru, Ph.D – Program Director
- Angela Scheuerle, M.D. – Associate Program Director
- Jodi Dashe, M.D.
- Jeffrey Gagan, M.D., Ph.D.
- Garrett Gotway, M.D., Ph.D.
- Dwight Oliver, M.D.
- Jason Park, M.D., Ph.D.
- Sara Pirzadeh-Miller, M.S.
- Kathleen Wilson, M.D.