Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship

Program Description:  The McLendon Clinical Laboratories of UNC Hospitals will offer training in Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, which leads to eligibility for certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG). This integrated training occurs in the Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Diagnostics laboratories. The training period is three years.

The Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at UNC provides experience with tests for inherited disorders, including cystic fibrosis, fragile X, Prader Willi and Angelman syndromes, hemochromatosis, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, MCAD-deficiency, hearing loss (connexin 26 and 30), primary ciliary dyskinesia, and hereditary cancer predispositions (Lynch syndrome and BRCA1/2 mutations); somatic aberrations in cancer (chromosomal breakpoints in leukemias, T– and B–cell clonality assays, MSI, MGMT and MLH1 promoter methylation, quantitative NPM1 testing, solid tumor and myeloid panels by massively parallel sequencing for diagnosis, prognosis and predicted drug response; and monitoring of bone marrow transplants with polymorphic microsatellite markers. State-of-the-art technologies and instrumentation are used in all of these tests.

The UNC Cytogenetics Laboratory is a high-volume laboratory, processing over 4000 prenatal, postnatal and cancer specimens annually, including chorionic villus, amniocentesis, products of conception, peripheral blood, bone marrow, tumor, and tissue biopsies. Fellows will be well-trained in a variety of techniques including tissue culture, chromosome banding and analysis, FISH and chromosome microarray analysis. We continue to add new technologies to the lab in order to keep up with the rapidly growing field of cytogenetics.

In addition to gaining experience in the fields of cytogenetics and molecular genetics, all fellows will be instructed on how to validate and establish new testing, as well as how to establish, review, and maintain standard operating procedure manuals and quality control practices as required by the regulatory and licensing agencies (CLIA, CAP, etc.).

Our postdoctoral training programs in medical genetics are provided by collaboration among individuals from numerous academic units including Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, the School of Public Health, the Cancer Center, the Center for Genomics, the Neuroscience Center, the Gene Therapy Center, and the Birth Defects Center. The University of North Carolina Hospitals, with a statewide referral base, provide a rich source for clinical experience in all subspecialty areas. Our medical genetics programs have been a focus for statewide referrals since 1970.

Program Requirements:  Ph.D. in an area related to genetics or M.D. is required. Physicians are also eligible for fellowship training in Molecular Genetic Pathology.

Stipends:  Fellowship stipends are based on the trainee's number of years of postdoctoral training.

Program Co-Directors:  , Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, CB# 7525, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525, and , Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, CB# 7525, University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525.

Faculty Members:

Jessica Booker, PhD

Rosann Farber, PhD

Margaret L. Gulley, MD

Kathleen A. Kaiser–Rogers, PhD

Cynthia M. Powell, MD

Karen E. Weck, MD


Applications:  Please contact Dr. Booker or Dr. Kaiser–Rogers for information regarding fellowship availability. For a given year that an LGG fellowship is open, applications will be accepted between April 1 and October 1 of the prior year.

Contact Information:

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
CB #7525
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525
Telephone:  984-974-1456

Cytogenetics Laboratory
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
CB #7525
University of North Carolina 
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7525
Telephone:  984-974-1790