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Genetic Counseling Graduate Program

Faculty

The Genetic Counseling Graduate Program faculty draws on nationally and internationally recognized leaders in genetic counseling theory and practice, medical genetics and genomics, laboratory genetics, statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, public health and ethics. Our faculty is comprised of genetic counselors, medical geneticists, basic science researchers and other highly qualified instructors.

Program Faculty

Robin Bennett, M.S., CGC (she/her) — Program Director

Robin Bennet

Robin Bennett brings over 35 years of experience in genetic counseling to the UW Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. During her career, she has cared for more than 25,000 patients in the Genetic Medicine Clinic at the UW Medical Center and helped train future genetic counselors and medical geneticists. Globally recognized as a leader in genetics education, Robin has lectured and consulted in Australia, Saudi Arabia and China. She helped develop the National Society of Genetic Counselors’ protocol for the creation of practice guidelines and is the author of The Practical Guide to the Genetic Family History

Robin has served as president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, a member of the board of directors of the American Board of Genetic Counseling and a founding board member and past president of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. She currently serves on the board of directors of the American Society of Human Genetics. She's the recipient of multiple awards, including the UW Distinguished Staff Award and the UW Department of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Award. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kenyon College, which later awarded her an honorary scientific doctorate. Robin is a graduate of the Human Genetics Program at Sarah Lawrence College.

Full profile | robinb@uw.edu


Brad Rolf, M.S., CGC (he/him) — Associate Program Director

Brad Rolf

Brad Rolf has been a genetic counselor at the University of Washington since 2013. His research interests include polygenic risk, genetic counseling education and genetic counseling for patients who identify as LGBTQ. Before joining the faculty of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program, he worked primarily as a research genetic counselor. In this role he coordinated the genetics study of the Therapeutic Pipeline Project, a research project aimed at determining the efficacy of whole-exome sequencing for inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He also worked on one of the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research consortium projects that focused on delivering genetic testing and genetic counseling services for inherited cancer risk to underserved populations. Brad earned a master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of Texas Health Science Center. 

Full profile | barolf@uw.edu


Penny Chow, M.S., CGC (she/her) — Director of Fieldwork Education

Penny Chow

Penny Chow started with the UW Genetic Counseling Graduate Program in early 2021. For over 15 years, she worked as a pediatric genetic counselor at Seattle Children's Hospital. While most of her current clinical focus is in the Craniofacial Center and the 22q Clinic, in the past she has worked at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Biochemical Genetics Clinic, the Genetic Medicine Clinic, the Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic and the State of Alaska Biochemical Genetics Clinic.

Penny started the genetic counseling internship program at Seattle Children’s in 2009 and oversaw the program for more than 10 years. She brings the expertise she gained to her current role in the UW GCGP as the director of fieldwork education. In addition to her love of pediatric genetic counseling, her other passions are training genetic counseling students and coordinating clinical rotations. Penny has a master’s degree in genetic counseling from California State University, Northridge. 

pchow@uw.edu


Elizabeth Blue, Ph.D. (she/her)

Elizabeth Blue

Elizabeth Blue, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, is a statistical geneticist whose research focuses on identifying genetic variants influencing complex and Mendelian traits. While her lab focuses on genetic modifiers of Alzheimer’s disease, she is highly collaborative, actively participating in the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project, the Cystic Fibrosis Genome Project, the UW Center for Mendelian Genomics and the Pacific Northwest Undiagnosed Diseases Network. She's also a member of the Institute for Public Health Genetics. Elizabeth hopes to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for population genetics, statistical genetics and bioinformatics with the students of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. She earned her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Utah.

Full profile | em27@uw.edu 


Katie Golden-Grant, M.S., LCGC (she/her)

Katie Golden-Grant

Katie Golden-Grant is a genetic counselor with 10 years of experience in pediatric rare diseases. She has worked in clinical and research settings at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington and is currently a senior genetic counselor with the Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory, where she analyzes and interprets genome sequencing data for individuals with rare, undiagnosed diseases. Katie is passionate about increasing access to and benefit of genomic diagnostic technologies worldwide. She earned a master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Colorado.

klgg@uw.edu


Raj Kapur, M.D., Ph.D. (he/him)

Raj Kapur

Raj Kapur is a professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and practices a combination of surgical and autopsy pathology at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He directs the autopsy program at Seattle Children’s, where his team performs expert examinations on fetuses and infants with birth defects, which are referred from around the Puget Sound region. His love of human embryology began during medical school and led to his doctoral studies of preimplantation mouse embryo development at the University of Southern California. His postdoctoral work included autopsy studies of malformed human fetuses in the Center for Human Embryology at the University of Washington, as well as basic science research related to neural crest cell migration in transgenic murine embryos. Raj is eager to review classic human embryology with a heavy emphasis on practical issues that relate specifically to genetic counseling. He earned a medical degree and a doctorate in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

raj.kapur@seattlechildrens.org


Danny Miller, M.D., Ph.D. (he/him)

Danny Miller

Danny Miller is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. His research interests include using long-read sequencing to identify missing disease-causing variations and understanding the impact of genomic variants detected by long-read sequencing. He is also interested in using long-read sequencing as a single clinical test to both increase the rate of genetic diagnosis and decrease the amount of time required to make a genetic diagnosis. Danny earned his medical degree and a doctorate in physiology from the University of Kansas.

dm1@uw.edu


Sarah Nelson, MPH, Ph.D. (she/her)

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in the ethical and social implications of genomics in research, clinical care and everyday life. In addition to her clinical instructor position for the Public Health Genetics program, she is a senior research scientist involved with the coordination and implementation of several large-scale NIH genomics research consortia through the UW Genetic Analysis Center. Sarah earned her Master of Public Health and doctorate in public health genetics from the University of Washington.

sarahcn@uw.edu


Lauren Puryear, M.S., CGC (she/her)

Lauren Puryear

Lauren Puryear is a clinical assistant professor in the UW Genetic Counseling Graduate Program and a clinical genetic counselor in the UW adult genetics clinic. She graduated from Stanford University’s Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling program and previously worked as a teacher, trainer and mediator.

lpuryear@uw.edu


Jenny Rietzler, M.S., CGC (she/her)

Jenny Rietzler

Jenny Rietzler is a practicing genetic counselor with the Genetic Support Foundation. Her clinical career has focused on reproductive genetic counseling, and she has a special interest in increasing access to genetic services for families in underserved areas and communities. She earned a master’s degree in medical genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

jrietzle@uw.edu


Jenny Thies, M.S., CGC (she/her)

Jenny Thies

Jenny Thies is a clinical genetic counselor in the Biochemical Genetics Clinic at Seattle Children's Hospital. She is passionate about education and clinical research in the areas of biochemical genetics, newborn screening and ultrarare disease. She earned her master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Oklahoma.

jenny.thies@seattlechildrens.org