Kira Dineen & Michelle Fox + Debra Collins , DNA Today: A Genetics Podcast

#234 Genetic Counseling History: 1st NSGC Conference

28 Apr 2023 • EN
1 min
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Congratulations to everyone who matched with a genetic counseling program last week! Special shoutout to our Communications Lead, Corinne Merlino, for matching with the University of Pennsylvania!  Check out DNA Today Episode #101, Genetic Counseling Match Day, to prepare you to start grad school. We also provide advice for applicants that didn’t match in this cycle and offer inspiration to apply next round. In the spirit of recent matches, upcoming graduation, and DNA Day we thought it was time for another giveaway! This time we are giving away GC Genius' top two study materials: their study guide and flashcards featuring the top 100 genetic conditions to know. Enter on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn before May 2nd! You can even enter on all three to increase your chances of winning.  Fun Fact: The flashcards were co-created by Ashlyn Enokian, MS, CGC, who designed our DNA Today logo! She is also a genetic counselor featured on DNA Today Episodes 101, 111, 135, and 212. Can’t wait to see if you won? Use the code “DNATODAY” for a discount in the GC Genius Etsy store through May 31st, 2023.  —--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We are going back in time in this episode of DNA Today to explore the history of the genetic counseling field. In part 1 of this 2-part series, we are focusing on the first annual conference for the National Society of Genetic Counselors which was in 1981, 54 years ago! Joining me are two rockstars in the field of GC, Michelle Fox and Debra Collins! Michelle Fox, MS, CGC, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA. For over 30 years, Michelle coordinated the UCLA Genetics Clinic, providing genetic counseling services to both pediatric and adult populations, including the UCLA Predictive Huntington Disease Testing Program, early onset Alzheimer and genetic neurodegenerative disorders. She is also a  faculty member of the UCLA Genetic Counseling Program. Michelle served on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Heritable Disorders of Newborns and Children Follow-up and Treatment sub-committee and on the National Society of Genetic Counselors Public Policy Newborn Screening Task Force in 2014. She was a member of the Western States Regional Genetics Network from 2010-2013. Michelle served on the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Hearing Loss Guidelines Committee (2013), the American Board of Genetic Counseling Engagement Task Force (2016) and the National Society of Genetic Counselors Conflict of Interest Task Force (2017-2018). She currently serves on the Mt. Sinai Medical Center Genetic Counseling Program Advisory Board, UCLA Genetic Counseling Program Advisory Board and was a member at large of the National Society of Genetic Counselors board of directors (2019-2020). Michelle was awarded the Natalie Weissberger Paul Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 recognizing her contributions to the field of genetic counseling! Debra Collins, M.S., CGC, has been a genetic counselor at University of Kansas Medical Center for four decades. She has been working there as a genetic counselor for about four decades and her current roles include being a hereditary cancer genetic counselor, with special expertise in von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, and advisor to the genetics and neoplasia medical school curricula.. She has been an active member of the NSGC, including being a past President, serving on the Board of Directors, the Professional Status Committee and currently in the Cancer Genetics Special Interest Group. In 2006, she was awarded the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship  Special Award for an online course on grant writing for genetic counselors. Collins also had leadership roles in organizations such as the American Society of Human Genetics, The American Board of Genetic Counseling, and many family support / advocacy groups. Debra graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, the first genetic counseling program, with her Master’s Degree in Human Genetics. She has enjoyed working as a genetic counselor every day: providing education, advocating, counseling, translating complex information, and making a difference in the lives of patients and families.  On This Episode We Discuss: Why it’s important to understand the history of the genetic counseling field Why the year 1969 is an important one for the profession The first annual education (NSGC) conference The role of the March of Dimes The number of people who attended the first conference The next few annual education conferences What has changed since then NSGC conferences today If you want to learn more about the history of the GC field, check out Episode 136 with Linda Robinson . Episode 31 with Robin Schwartz also gives a great overview of the field. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series with Ed Kloza and Ann Walker where we will focus on the Formation of the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). You can learn more about the past, present, and future of NSGC conferences here! Stay tuned for the next new episode of DNA Today on May 5th, 2023 where we’ll be continuing this history of genetic counseling discussion by chatting about the formation of the ABGC with Ed Kloza and Ann Walker. New episodes are released every Friday. In the meantime, you can binge over 235 other episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, streaming on the website, or any other podcast player by searching, “DNA Today”. Episodes since 2021 are also recorded with video which you can watch on our YouTube channel.   DNA Today is hosted and produced by Kira Dineen. Our social media lead is Corinne Merlino. Our video lead is Amanda Andreoli. Our Outreach Intern is Sanya Tinaikar. Our Social Media Intern is Kajal Patel. And our Graphic Designer Ashlyn Enokian. See what else we are up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and our website, Questions/inquiries can be sent to  Want to become a genetic counselor? Looking for ways to engage with the field and boost your resume for grad school applications? Then you should check out Sarah Lawrence’s “Why Genetic Counseling Wednesday Summer Series”! Every Wednesday this June (plus the last Wednesday in May) Sarah Lawrence is hosting a series where you can interact through Zoom with genetic counselors from different specialties. It kicks off on May 31st! You can sign up at Again visit to register to level up your resume for applications in the fall. (Sponsored) Are you interested in the rapidly growing field of genetics and want to learn more about clinical genetics, molecular genetics, and laboratory science? Then you should check out the Genetic Assistant Online Training Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine! By taking part in the program, you will be joining both national and international learners with the same passion for genetics. Interact directly with your Johns Hopkins instructors and fellow learners throughout the program. Limited spots are available for the summer cohort starting June 5th, 2023. Click here for more information. (Sponsored) As many of you know through podcasting I have become an entrepreneur including consulting for other podcasts. Since I don't have a business degree I have learned a lot through podcasts like Porch Talks. The inspiration to start this show was from the host Melissa Bradley who wanted to inform, instruct, and inspire fellow entrepreneurs, especially in people who identify as women, people of color, immigrants, veterans, people with disabilities, and folks in the LGBTQIA+ community (which drew me in initially). So if you are thinking about starting a business or just love hearing stories about how businesses grow, Porch Talks is for you. (Sponsored)

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