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Human Genetics
human genetics

Human Genetics //

How does DNA
Determine Someone's
Predisposition
to Disease?
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Our Research Centers

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Our Faculty

Our Faculty

Meet the faculty who will teach and mentor you, and learn about the innovative research projects they're directing.
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Our Alumni

Our Alumni

Read about what our graduates are doing in the human genetics field.
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Human Genetics Graduate Programs

Human genetics is the study of how genes influence human traits, diseases, and behaviors, including how genetic and non-genetic factors interact. Public health genetics applies advances in human genetics and genomics to improve public health and prevent disease. Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to patients dealing with birth defects or genetic disorders and those who may be at risk for inherited conditions.

The Department of Human Genetics is dedicated to genetics graduate programs which focus on research, teaching, and service, and embrace three major research missions:
  • Investigating the genetic causes and treatment of hereditary and acquired human illness
  • Understanding and exploring the impact of genetics on public health, education, and disease prevention
  • Appreciating the role of genetic diversity within human populations
The program emphasizes the study of genetic mechanisms related to the transition from normal to disease states, and studies how genes and the environment interact to affect the distribution of health and disease in human populations.

Find a research program for your interests

Human genetics research has helped answer fundamental questions about human nature and led to the development of effective treatments for many diseases that greatly impact human health. Faculty in the Department of Human Genetics have developed and used genetic methods to investigate the causes and treatment of hereditary and acquired human illness and to understand and explore the impact of genetics on public health, education, and disease prevention.

Pitt Public Health human genetics faculty and students currently are involved in varied research projects, including:
  • Finding genes that are risk factors for aging and age-related macular degeneration, and neurological and extracellular matrix disorders
  • Studying the genetics of obesity and muscle development, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Identify genes responsible for primary (or inherited) lymphedema, also known as Milroy's and Meige's Disease
  • Studying a group of disorders with the shared trait of cutis laxa, a disease of prematurely loose, redundant, inelastic, and wrinkled skin
  • Researching the genetic basis of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and lupus
  • Developing and implementing state-of-the-art statistical methods for gene mapping and bioinformatics, especially next-generation sequencing
  • Studying genetic mechanisms underlying various cancers
  • Studying the influence of family health histories on risk perception
  • Exploring individuals’ experiences of facing genetic risk

Pursue a career in human genetics

Graduates of Pitt Public Health’s human genetics program typically go on to positions in academia or in industry and usually are employed by their graduation dates. Alumni currently are working in clinical and research firms, including:
  • Associate professor, operations director, and senior lab director, Emory Genetics Laboratory
  • Staff, Labeling and Consumer Protection Division, USDA
  • Research manager, Harris Interactive
  • Clinical genetic counselor, Kaiser
  • Associate director, Northwestern University Genetic Counseling Program

Degrees

The Department of Human Genetics offers three master’s level programs, and two doctoral programs:

 

DC alumni reception brings together friends and colleagues

Dozens of Pitt Public Health g...
DC alumni reception brings together friends and colleagues

Dozens of Pitt Public Health grads from the capital area gathered at Penn Social during the 2017 ASPPH annual meeting, joining Dean Burke and host faculty for hearty conversations and refreshments. If the forecast of snow scared you away, we missed you! Access our photo albums anytime at www.publich... (03/15/2017)

Pitt Public Health - Fighting for a Future Free of Cancer (video)

DIETRICH STEPHAN and SUSANNE G...
Pitt Public Health - Fighting for a Future Free of Cancer (video)

DIETRICH STEPHAN and SUSANNE GOLLIN of our Department of Human Genetics are featured in a video about their work to connect genetic technologies to address development and growth of breast cancer tumors. Hear about their personal motivations and their strategies for attacking cancer today and into t... (03/12/2017)

HUGEN's Feingold studies how genes influence facial appearance

INSIDEUPMC - Senior associate ...
HUGEN's Feingold studies how genes influence facial appearance

INSIDEUPMC - Senior associate dean, geneticist, and biostatistician ELEANOR FEINGOLD contributed to this interdisciplinary research team's findings: measures of eye, nose, and facial breadth could be associated with genetic variants in certain regions of the genome. In several of these regions, gene... (03/08/2017)

HuGen's Finegold discusses rare diseases with ABC News

ABC NEWS - Pitt Public Health'...
HuGen's Finegold discusses rare diseases with ABC News

ABC NEWS - Pitt Public Health's DAVID FINEGOLD discusses both the research and cost challenges s associated with so-called "rare diseases" with ABC News' chief health/medical editor, Dr. Richard Besservia his TwitterChat @abcDrBchat. Click for a Storify summary of this national #RareDiseaseDay event... (02/28/2017)

HuGen's Nimgaonkar sheds light on shared roots of schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis

NEWS-MEDICAL - According to an...
HuGen's Nimgaonkar sheds light on shared roots of schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis

NEWS-MEDICAL - According to an in-depth computational analysis published in the JOURNAL OF SCHIZOPHRENIA and co-authored by VISHWAJIT NIMGAONKAR, professor of psychiatry and human genetics, variants in eight genes implicated in both schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis may explain why susceptibili... (02/24/2017)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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