Human Genetics Department News

Meet Public Health Genetics Alum Samantha Pettersen

"Currently, I'm working with Haley Director (HUGEN '22, '26) to educate people about public health genetics through social media. You can find us at on Instagram and TikTok!"   

Meet Public Health Genetics Alum Haley Director

"To me, public health genetics is the intersection of genomics research and population health. I've benefited from public health genetics through the carrier screening program for Ashkenazi Jews, so I know firsthand the impact and importance of public health genetics."   

Meet Public Health Genetics Student Kit Church

"I am currently completing my practicum with the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation in Pittsburgh, where I am involved with many different facets of the organization. I also work as a research coordinator with the TBRS Community, a nonprofit organization supporting inviduals with the rare disorder Tatton Brown Rahman Syndrome."  

Department of Human Genetics mourns the loss of Haley Kulas

Haley M. Kulas (HUGEN ’21), passed away peacefully on March 9, 2022, surrounded by friends and family. Haley had a true passion for genetics and she fulfilled that passion by becoming a genetic counselor following her graduation in April of last year. Friends and family will be received on March 13, 2022. Donations in her memory can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  

Vockley among fellows selected by AAAS

Hugen’s Jerry Vockley named as a 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. Election as a Fellow honors members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues. Vockley directs an active research program on inherited disorders of energy and protein metabolism, focused on both understanding the genetic causes of these dis... 

Experts Say Oz's medical expertise can be double-edged, especially amid pandemic

WESA - HUGEN's Lisa Parker, director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, said many people look to authority figures like Dr. Oz for guidance. But Parker said [his] credentials can lead to what bioethicists call “a generalization of expertise,” in which people assume that because someone is an expert in one area, they also have expertise in another.  

Finegold: How to use precision medicine to personalize COVID-19 treatment according to the patient's genes

THE CONVERSATION - HUGEN’s David Finegold and colleague “began a discussion about the promise and potential pitfalls of precision medicine before the arrival of COVID-19. If precision medicine is the future of medicine, then its application to pandemics generally, and COVID-19 in particular, may yet prove to be highly significant. But its role so far has been limited. Precision medicine must consider more than just genetics."  

Cat in the Lab: Feline Genomes Fuel Precision Medicine

GEN - Leslie Lyons (HUGEN ‘91, '87), professor of comparative medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, emphasizes the importance of using the right model for studying a disease. When one thinks of the most popular and useful animal models in biomedical research, one thinks of mice and rats, followed by rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and so on.  

Meet our Faculty: David Finegold

David Finegold began his 40+ year relationship with the University of Pittsburgh as an undergrad and then receiving his MD from the School of Medicine in 1972. Working in biochemistry and pediatrics, he moved into public health as a result of collaboration in his medical work. Finegold is human genetics faculty, he is also the director of Pitt Public Health’s Multidisciplinary Master of Public Like many of you, he is ready and excited to get bac... 

Minster on study linking genetic variant to lower obesity risk

WITF - The research shows promise, but the success of treating obesity by targeting these genes is not guaranteed, according to HUGEN's Ryan Minster (HUGEN '11). "That's because the human body itself is extremely resistant to losing weight," Minster said. "Beyond that, most of us live in social, physical and occupational environments that foster weight gain."   

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