Winter 2002 - Volume 13, No. 1

current issue | past issues | alum notes | contact info | home

WSU Recognized as Founding Member of AAMC


New Curriculum Addresses Aging and Geriatrics


Providing Answers About Viruses and Drug Resistance


Publication Shows Gene Programming is Coming Soon


Antacids May be More Important than Calcium in Osteoporosis Prevention


Congressman Rallies for Graduate Medical Education


Tracking Software Evaluates Students' Clinical Rotations


Prayer and Fellowship Promote Healthy Outcomes


Diabetes Program Participants See Sharp Drop in Risk Factors


Master's Degree Offered in Genetic Counseling


Influenza Vaccine Research Targets Large Capacity Virus


WSU School of Medicine Recognizes Excellence in Medical Student Research


In Memory of Professor Emeritus Maurice Bernstein


School Begins Multi-Million dollar Energy Savings Project


WSU Establishes Metabolic Research Center Dedicated to Diabetes/Obesity Research


Drug Delivery System Uses Liposomes to Treat Ocular Tumors


Dr. Goodman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Association of Physical Anthropologists


Medical Students Learn and Practice Professionsl Values


Leukemia Drug Gets Priority Approval


Psychiatry Students Awarded for Research


Lower Cardiovascular Risk is Added Benefit of Exercise


$5 Million Grant Partners WSU and Florida A&M for Environmental Health Research


Graduates Earn PhDs

Master’s Degree Offered in Genetic Counseling

This year’s genetic counseling group is pictured here. From left: Lawrence Grossman, PhD, associate director, CMMG; Bryanna Cox, student; Angela Trepanier, associate director of the Genetic Counseling Program; Stephanie Burnett, student; Anne Greb, director; Erica Horger, student; Gerald Feldman, MD, PhD, medical director; Seema Panchal, student; Xia Wang, MD, PhD, medical genetics resident; Mark Hughes, MD, PhD, director, CMMG.

The Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics (CMMG) now offers a master’s level graduate program in genetic counseling. Genetic counseling helps families understand their risks for inherited conditions and birth defects so they can make informed decisions about their health, medical management, lifestyle and the health of their future children. The increasing need for genetic counselors arises out of the success of the Human Genome Project, which achieved one of its goals in February 2001, when a draft sequence of the entire human genome was published.

Genetic counselors are medical professionals trained at the graduate level in the area of medical genetics and counseling. According to Jerry Feldman, MD, PhD, medical director of WSU’s program, “A majority work in large hospitals or university-based medical centers providing genetic counseling services in pediatric, obstetric, internal medicine, neurology and oncology departments. Genetic counselors are also branching out into cardiology, psychiatry and pharmacology departments.”

As part of the clinical genetics team, genetic counselors help assess a person’s risk for a genetic condition, explain genetic testing options, help individuals and their families cope with their genetic condition, and provide resources and support. The diagnosis of a genetic condition has long-lasting implications not only for one person, but also for his or her entire family. “Common emotions patients experience when they find out they have a genetic condition include shame, guilt, anger and despair. Families need someone to work through these emotions with them. That is, in part, what genetic counselors do,” said Angela Trepanier, associate director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program.

In addition to clinical services, genetic counselors also function as educators and resources for other health care professionals and the general public. “The genetic counseling profession is really in its infancy. As we learn more about the genetic basis of adult onset conditions through advances in the Human Genome Project, our professional roles will continue to evolve and expand,” adds Anne Greb, director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program.

For more information about the graduate program in genetic counseling, call (313) 577-6298 or email

For more information about genetic counseling check out the following web sites:

The National Society of Genetic Counselors,;

The American Board of Genetic Counseling,;

Genetics Education Center,

The program is designed to integrate scientific knowledge and counseling skills with a variety of clinical and laboratory experiences. Theory and techniques of counseling, human and medical genetics, molecular biology, and genetic counseling are among the required courses. The center also offers a wide selection of elective courses, and students are required to complete a research project.

The Detroit Medical Center and surrounding metropolitan hospitals offer the clinical sites where students gain supervised experience in a variety of genetics clinics. The diverse population found in the greater Detroit area provides a unique opportunity to explore how ethnic and cultural differences influence the effectiveness of clinical genetic services and the genetic counseling process.

The program, which accepts up to six students each academic year, received accreditation by the American Board of Genetic Counseling as a new program in 2000. There are only 27 genetic counseling graduate programs worldwide, graduating approximately 150 students each year. Because many of the advances in human genetics can be applied to medicine, tremendous career opportunities are currently available for genetic counselors.

State of the School

Welcome New Faculty




Continuing Medical Education