Human Genetics Department News

Facher connects Pitt faculty with LifeX

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IMPACT - Evan Facher (HUGEN '97) notes that one of the important ways that the Innovation Institute powers invention and ignites progress is by connecting Pitt faculty with the resources they need to accelerate the translation of their research from the lab to the market. LifeX Labs, the life sciences accelerator launched by the University last year, is one of those resources. LifeX is hosting two opportunities this week for innovators to be con... 

Russell awarded New Presenter Award at APHA 2019

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Caitlin Russell (HUGEN '19) was awarded the New Presenter Award during the Genomics Forum at this year's American Public Health Association conference for her poster titled, "Assessment of Hemoglobinopathy trait notification in Pennsylvania Newborn Screening". Additional authors on teh poster included HUGEN's Andrea Durst, Cheryl Hillary, and Elena Kessler.   

Ngo named Joseph F. Mulach Jr. and Louisa A. Mulach Scholar

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"This award meant a lot to me in terms of having a bit more financial stability, which has allowed me to focus more n my studies and work," said Marilyn Ngo (HUGEN '20) of being named one of this year's scholars. "Research in this field can go towards helping so many people in new and innovative ways."   

Team BlueHack Geneticists wins social media award at IBM BlueHack Competition 2019

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Justin A. Dutta (HUGEN '23), Ellyn Dunbar (HUGEN '23), Vibha Acharya (HUGEN '21), Muaaz Aslam, and Dongjing Liu (HUGEN '21) formed Team BlueHack Geneticists for the IBM BlueHack Competition the weekend of October 26-27 to work on their creative health care question and innovative solution, and they took home the social media award!   

Christopher talks to ASHG TV about Genetics Education and Engagement Fellowship

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ASHG TV - Dyanna Christopher (HUGEN) talks about helping health care workers respond to patients that have had or want genetic testing as well as working in low income areas and with low-literacy populations on education and reducing the stigma around genetics and genomics. "They are really supportive in helping you find your niche and figure out the things you're passionate about."  

HuGen’s Minster heads to Accra, Ghana for consortium on human heredity and health in Africa

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Assistant Professor Ryan Minster (HUGEN ’11) is attending the 14th Meeting of the H3Africa (Human Heredity and Health in Africa) Consortium in Accra, Ghana. H3Africa facilitates fundamental research into diseases on the African continent while also developing infrastructure, resources, training, and ethical guidelines to support a sustainable African research enterprise—led by African scientists, for the African people. Minster is heading the bi... 

Gopalakrishna finds breastmilk antibody protects infants from deadly disease

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) is first author on a study showing that an antibody in breastmilk is necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis - an often deadly bacterial disease of the intestine - in preterm infants. The findings suggest that the antibody content of donor milk shoudl be tested so that the most protective milk can be targeted to the most at-risk infants.   

HUGEN's Lauren Winter melds genetic counseling and dental genetics

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GC PROGRAM BLOG  -- Genetic counseling student Lauren Winter (HUGEN '20) shares her experiences investigating genetic, environmental, behavioral, and microbial contributions to the disproportionately high rate of dental cavities in children living in Appalachia. She loves the variety found in her job, from solving problems with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to interacting with the mothers and children participating in the study, "I cou... 

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Finegold talks about the importance of handling WES properly

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MD ALERT via REUTERS - Whole exome sequencing (WES) may identify genetic causes of idiopathic liver disease after an unrevealing conventional workup, researchers say. "WES is now broadly available in a wide range of genomics laboratories, both hospital-based and commercial. The interpretation of this data is profoundly challenging and absolutely requires special expertise within the laboratory."   

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