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Program Description

ACGME-Accredited Clinical Fellowship

The ACGME-accredited clinical medical geneticist fellowship prepares individuals with a doctoral degree (MD or DO) to provide comprehensive genetic diagnostic, management, therapeutic and counseling services.

Clinical Medical Geneticist Fellowship

Clinical Experience

Due to the personal nature of clinical genetics services and the small size of the program, fellows build close working relationships with faculty in a variety of settings. Outpatient services take place at Waisman Center clinics and outreach sites, where fellows work collaboratively with board-certified genetics counselors. Inpatient consultations take place at American Family Children’s Hospital, University Hospital and two local neonatal intensive care units.

Research Experience

Learners explore options for laboratory placement during the first year of training.  Research activities occupy approximately 50 percent of the second year, and research and/or clinical laboratory training fill the third year if there is interest in an ABMGG specialty. Research facilities include:

  • The Waisman Center, which houses state-of-the-art research space for molecular genetics, gene therapy, stem cell, and clinical research programs; and
  • The University of Wisconsin Collaborative Genomics Core (UWCGC), which provides clinical laboratory testing, research support and state-of-the-art training for genomics-related programs across the UW-Madison campus. ABMGG fellowship director Jennifer Laffin, PhD, FACMG, co-directs the UWCGC.

Teaching Experience

Fellows have multiple opportunities to gain teaching experience working with residents in pediatrics and other disciplines, as well as medical students and genetics counseling interns, as they rotate through the genetics service. Participation in weekly case conference(s), journal clubs, a collaborative genomics conference and other seminars also provides opportunities to enhance teaching skills.

ABMGG-Accredited Clinical Laboratory Fellowships

All three ABMGG-accredited fellowships educate highly competent and compassionate leaders in genetics who will successfully enter the genetics workforce and be lifelong learners and leaders through maintenance of certification (MOC) by the ABMGG as laboratory directors. 
Our rigorous, comprehensive curriculum offers:

  • Diverse clinical laboratory experiences that foster inter-professional relationships across campus and affiliate sites with faculty and staff;
  • Relevant research opportunities that encourage critical thinking, connecting and solving complex challenges in genetic research while contributing to the knowledge base of the profession; and
  • An environment that promotes socially responsible practice in serving the public and medical profession assuring standards of excellence in genetics.

Biochemical Genetics Fellowship

Patrice Held, PhD

Patrice Held, PhD
Training Director

The ABMGG-accredited biochemical genetics clinical laboratory fellowship prepares individuals with a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or DO) to direct operations of an accredited biochemical genetics laboratory and to conduct academic research as it relates to clinical laboratory testing. At the end of this two- to three-year fellowship, fellows may complete the American Board of Medical Genetics’ General Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics examinations. (For more information about board certification, visit abmgg.org.)

This program is offered in collaboration with the Wisconsin Newborn Screening Laboratory and the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. This unique relationship provides fellows with a comprehensive learning environment so they may better understand the interface between the fields of biochemical genetics and newborn screening.

Clinical Laboratory Experience

Fellows will:

  • Master clinical biochemical genetics testing techniques, recognize and interpret metabolic aberrations and disease profiles, and initiate complementary studies as indicated;
  • Master technologies used in newborn screening laboratory to identify patients at risk for metabolic conditions;
  • Understand the role of the screening laboratory and its relationship to the clinical diagnostic laboratory;
  • Interpret and communicate test results in clear, understandable language for referring physicians, healthcare providers, and patients;
  • Collaborate productively with clinical colleagues, as well as Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics laboratories and other referral laboratories as needed;
  • Become acquainted with quality assurance procedures, laboratory management, and fiscal issues of directing a laboratory within the climate of managed care; and
  • Master appropriate processing of all human specimens for biochemical analysis and to recognize the requirements for safe handling of specimens.

Research Experience

Fellows will learn—within the context of the entire training program—how to initiate independent and/or collaborative research.

Teaching Experience

Fellows will learn how to become capable instructors for teaching and training at all levels.

Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship

Jennifer Laffin, PhD

Jennifer Laffin, PhD
Training Director

The ABMGG-accredited clinical cytogenetics fellowship prepares individuals with a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or DO) to function as a clinical cytogenetic laboratory director. At the end of this two- to three-year fellowship, fellows may complete the American Board of Medical Genetics’ General Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics examinations. (For more information about board certification, visit abmg.org.)

This program is offered in collaboration with the UW Cytogenetic Service and Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. This unique relationship provides fellows with a comprehensive learning environment so they may better understand the interface between the fields of cytogenetics and newborn screening.

Clinical Laboratory Experience

Fellows will:

  • Master clinical molecular techniques, recognize and interpret cytogenetic aberrations, and initiate complementary or confirmatory studies as indicated.
  • Master appropriate processing of all human tissues for cytogenetic analysis and to recognize the requirement for safe handling of tissue and tissue culture specimens;
  • Interpret and communicate test results in clear, understandable language for referring physicians, healthcare providers and patients;
  • Collaborate productively with clinical colleagues; and
  • Be acquainted with quality assurance procedures, laboratory management and fiscal issues of directing a laboratory within the climate of managed care.

Research Experience

Fellows will learn—in the context of the entire training program—how to seek extramural funding for and to initiate independent and/or collaborative research. Opportunities for collaborative research are available in a variety of genetic subspecialties and are required for completion of training.

Education Experience

Fellows will learn how to become capable instructors for teaching and training at all levels.

Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship

Jennifer Laffin, PhD

Jennifer Laffin, PhD
Training Director

The ABMGG-accredited molecular genetics fellowship prepares individuals with a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or DO) to function as a clinical molecular laboratory director. At the end of this two- to three-year fellowship, fellows may complete the American Board of Medical Genetics’ General Genetics and Molecular Genetics examinations. (For more information about board certification, visit abmg.org.)

This program is offered in collaboration with the UW Cytogenetic Service and Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene; the UW Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; PreventionGenetics, Inc. in Marshfield, Wisconsin. This unique relationship with our partner labs provides fellows with a broad range of clinical molecular genetic testing experience, using state-of-the-art methods and in a variety of environments.

Clinical Laboratory Experience

Fellows will:

  • Master clinical molecular techniques, recognize and interpret molecular aberrations, and initiate complementary or confirmatory studies as indicated;
  • Master appropriate processing of all human tissues for molecular analysis and to recognize the requirement for safe handling of tissue, and tissue culture specimens;
  • Interpret and communicate test results in clear, understandable language for referring physicians, healthcare providers and patients;
  • Collaborate productively with clinical colleagues; and
  • Be acquainted with quality assurance procedures, laboratory management and fiscal issues of directing a laboratory within the climate of managed care.

Research Experience

Fellows will learn—in the context of the entire training program—how to seek extramural funding for and to initiate independent and/or collaborative research.

Education Experience

Fellows will learn how to become capable instructors for teaching and training at all levels.


Last updated: 04/22/2016
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