One of the busiest clinical services of its kind in the country, our Center for Medical Genetics features an experienced team of genetic experts using the latest technologies and risk assessment tools.
Our Center for Medical Genetics serves the whole spectrum of hereditary diseases. We provide targeted testing for a wide spectrum of single genes responsible for conditions that span every medical discipline or specialty. We also have the capability to perform whole exome sequencing. This cutting-edge technique allows us to look more broadly for a genetic explanation for a patient’s health condition when traditional approaches fail to provide answers.
Outstanding Clinical Care | Expert Team | Cutting-Edge Research | Risk Assessment Tools
Outstanding Clinical Care
Every day scientific and technological advances reveal the significant impact genetic variations have on our health and risks for disease. While the development of common conditions from heart failure to diabetes can arise due to many influences, identifying hereditary causes through medical genetics can serve to greatly customize care—the essential core of personalized medicine.
An evolving area of medicine, medical genetics aims to help individuals and families pinpoint the biologically inherited familial ties that keep us healthy as well as make us sick. The knowledge gained from personal and family health histories combined with genetic testing have already proved successful in targeting specific health problems to better tailor treatment and prevent disease. For example, the strong link between BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and development of breast and ovarian cancers has prompted many women at risk to undergo earlier and more advanced screening to improve their chances of living long and healthy lives. Additionally, tailored therapies are being developed to better treat BRCA-related tumors based on information, gleaned from DNA analysis, about their molecular biology.
Our team collaborates with multiple disciplines across our integrated health system. A key component of our comprehensive approach to personalized medicine, medical genetics has a far-reaching aim to treat not only the individual but also the entire family. At the Center for Medical Genetics our expert team includes:
- Genetic Counselors: All of our Genetic Counselors are board certified, with many years of experience.
- Medical Geneticists: Our Medical Geneticists include Dr. Peter Hulick, a physician who is board certified in internal medicine and clinical genetics and Dr. Andrew Melnyk, a physician who is board certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics.
- Pharmacogenomics Specialist: Henry "Mark" Dunnenberger is a pharmacist who is specially-trained in pharmacogenomics.
- Genetics Specialists: In genetics, the family is “the patient.” We can assist in locating experts, local and national, to help follow-up on pertinent genetic test results for relatives who live across the United States and often beyond.
- Medical Oncologist: Dr. Allison DePersia is a Medical Oncologist specializing in clinical cancer genetics and a member of the High Risk Breast team at Northshore.
NorthShore features one of the largest medical genetics research centers in the Midwest. Our scientists are at the forefront of investigating the hereditary basis of cancer and other diseases. Current research programs include hereditary conditions, common adult-onset diseases, genomics and family history tools
Understanding the connections between DNA and disease development helps not only the individual patient but also many others who may share similar genetic variations leading to disease. The Genomic Health Initiative (GHI) is a far-reaching research program that strives to uncover new DNA-based discoveries that will drive personalized medicine to improve patient outcomes.
Risk Assessment Tools
We are one of the leading research centers creating new Internet-based methods to enhance risk assessment for familial-based diseases. Advanced computerized family genetic history techniques allow physicians to better screen and more quickly develop care strategies for patients at risk for hereditary conditions.
Through a secure online application—Health Heritage—our patients can create, review, update and share an electronic family medical history tree.
Health Heritage allows patients, in partnership with our team, to better interpret the meaning of genetic data to develop personalized prevention, screening and treatment options.