Skip to main content
Kristy Lee
Kristy Lee, MS, CGC, Professor

The Department of Genetics is proud to highlight Professor, Ms. Kristy Lee, for her excellence in clinical service, research, and service.  Ms. Lee’s scientific expertise, clinical experience, teaching excellence, and service to the community exemplifies her long-standing commitment to the utilization of genetics in healthcare.

Ms. Lee received her B.S. in Animal Science (minors in Genetics and Nutrition) from North Carolina State University in 2000, followed by a M.S. in Genetic Counseling from UNC-Greensboro in 2002.  In this field, the M.S. degree is considered a terminal degree.  Ms. Lee became a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC) and Diplomat of the American Board of Genetic Counseling in August 2005.  Ms. Lee served as a Clinical and Laboratory Genetic Counselor at the Greenwood Genetic Center (Greenwood SC, October 2003-August 2007).  She was appointed as a Genetic Counselor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill in August 2007 and was promoted to Associate Professor in November 2014 and Professor in November 2023.  Ms. Lee was appointed Professor (adjunct) at UNC-Greensboro in January 2022.

Ms. Lee’s research program has always been driven by a keen interest in helping patients understand the genetic causes of disease.  She was a very early adopter of using genome sequencing in patient populations to solve complicated family histories and was a key member of the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) consortium that focused on exome sequencing to lessen or eliminate the diagnostic odyssey for patients.  Ms. Lee has been a key clinical partner in the UNC Kittner Eye Center and secured NC Tracs funding to offer state-of-the-art genetic testing and molecular analysis to patients.  This experience allowed Ms. Lee to join the ClinGen Consortium as a coordinator and biocurator where she now focuses on retinal dystrophies and bleeding disorders.  She was the founding coordinator of the ClinGen Platelet Disorders expert panel which was the first effort to expand ClinGen’s role into non-malignant hematologic disorders.  She also served as the first coordinator of the TP53 expert panel that provided new data into germline variant classification for this cancer susceptibility gene.  Ms. Lee was asked to co-chair the Data Access, Protection and Confidentiality working group for ClinGen and her committee has implemented multiple policies for data sharing across the network of more than 60 expert panels.  Through her involvement and leadership in ClinGen, Ms. Lee has expanded her clinical and translational research focus and has brought genetic counseling approaches to bear on precision medicine, especially by establishing recommendations for classification of genomic variants in hematology, cancer, retinal diseases, and secondary findings.

Ms. Lee is a very active educator.  She has served as the Course Director for “Advanced Clinical Genomics” at UNC-Greensboro during the summers of 2022 and 2023 as well as Course Director for “Exome Sequencing Mini Course” each fall semester since 2014.  Ms. Lee has provided recurring guest lectures for the Genetic Counseling Program at UNC-Greensboro since 2008 on topics including cancer genetics risk assessment, introduction to cancer genetic counseling, introduction to laboratory testing, hereditary colon cancer, hereditary breast cancer and ophthalmology genetics. Ms. Lee is also active as a research mentor.  She mentored Ming Lim, MD for the “Dream Award” from the Hemostasis Thrombosis Research Society (2018-2021) and served as a Capstone Committee Chair for five UNC-Greensboro genetic counseling students.  She has provided Clinical/Research Intern supervision for adult genetic counseling rotations at UNC-Greensboro and University of South Carolina.  She has also served as a Post-Bac Genetic Counseling Internship Supervisor for seven students.

Ms. Lee is committed to national, regional and community service.  She has been a member of multiple national boards and working groups and serves as the Coordinator of the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) Secondary Findings Maintenance Working Group.  She served as a board member for the Southeast Region Hemophilia Treatment Center Advisory Committee (2012-2019).  As a genetic counseling expert, she serves as a member of the ACMG Inherited Retinal Disease Systematic Evidence Review Committee, the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation Expert Panel Review Committee, and the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation Working Group.  She is Co-Chair of the ClinGen Data Access, Protection and Confidentiality Working Group, and an Admissions Board Member and External Advisory Board Member for the UNC-Greensboro Genetic Counseling Program.  In the community, Ms. Lee has served as a member of the NC Advisory Board for Bleeding Disorders and has been the President of the Triangle Chapter of Foundation Fighting Blindness since 2012.  She also served on the UNC Department of Genetic Advisory Committee (2018-2021).