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.
We will be adding more faculty bios soon.
Robin Bennett, M.S., CGC - Acting Program Director
Robin Bennett, a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine, brings more than 35 years of experience in genetic counseling to the GCGP. As a senior genetic counselor and clinic manager at the Genetic Medicine Clinic at the UW Medical Center, she has cared for thousands of patients and helped train future genetic counselors and medical geneticists. Robin has made significant contributions to the body of knowledge of genetic counseling. She is most known for her work in pedigree nomenclature, consanguinity, presymptomatic testing for Huntington disease and other neurogenetic disorders, recurrent miscarriage, fragile X syndrome, Fabry disease and cancer genetics. She is a past president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and has served on the board of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling. Robin has a bachelor’s degree in biology and an honorary doctorate from Kenyon College and a master’s from the Human Genetics Program at Sarah Lawrence College.
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Brad Rolf, M.S., CGC - Acting Associate Program Director
Brad Rolf has been a genetic counselor at the University of Washington since 2013. Before joining the faculty of the GCGP, 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 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 bachelor’s degree in biology at Baylor University and a master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of Texas Health Science Center. His research interests include polygenic risk, genetic counseling education, and genetic counseling for patients who identify as LGBTQ.
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Margaret Adam, M.D.
Margaret Adam is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an attending physician at Seattle Children's Hospital. A clinical geneticist and dysmorphologist, she has more than 15 years of experience evaluating and treating individuals with congenital anomalies and developmental disabilities due to genetic causes and teratogenic exposures. Her professional responsibilities include evaluating and treating patients, conducting clinical research and serving as editor-in-chief for the online, peer-reviewed genetics resource GeneReviews. She has been involved in the training of many medical geneticists and genetic counselors. She earned her M.D. at Stanford University.
Elizabeth Blue, Ph.D.
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. Learn more about her research. Elizabeth hopes to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for population genetics, statistical genetics and bioinformatics with the students of the GCGP. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Utah.
Alison Fohner, Ph.D.
Alison Fohner is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, assistant director of the Institute of Public Health Genetics and an adjunct investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. She is a translational genetic epidemiologist, with multidisciplinary training in pharmaceutics, bioethics and data science. Much of Alison’s work has focused on clinical implications of pharmacogenetics, including building research partnerships with American Indian/Alaska Native communities in the Pacific Northwest to increase pharmacogenetic benefit for diverse populations. She looks forward to bringing her broad expertise in diverse genetic epidemiology research and prior experience teaching courses on applied study design to the GCGP. Alison earned her Ph.D. in public health genetics at the University of Washington.
Catrin Pittack, Ph.D.
For the past 20 years Catrin Pittack has the great fortune of having a job that combines two of her passions — teaching and science. During her teaching career, she has taught gross anatomy and embryology to medical, dental, nursing and undergraduate students. She was awarded the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 and was subsequently invited to lead teaching seminars at the UW Center for Instructional Development & Research. In 2017 she became a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Structure. In March 2020 Catrin became the director of the UW Willed Body Program, the whole-body donation program for education of future health care providers. She is forever excited to share with students the 3D anatomy of the human form (aka anatomy), as well as the amazing journey that embryonic cells take as they transform into an embryo and eventually an infant. Catrin earned her Ph.D. at the University of Washington.